3M & World War II

The Products

3M Tapes

Many 3M products were put to new uses and others were developed as part of the war effort.

Over 100 different types of “Scotch” tapes were developed and manufactured to assist war production. They were used for sealing, identifying parts, holding materials, protecting, and insulating.

“Scotch” cellulose tape and “Scotch” masking tape were old standbys put to new uses in military production.

“Scotch” Double-Sided Tape, with adhesive on both sides, was a new product.

“Scotch” Acetate Fibre Riveters’ Tape was developed to hold rivets in line during the fastening process, when cellulose tape and masking tape were too messy and flimsy.

“Safety-Walk,” the non-slip surfacing material, was widely used on ships and on factory floors.

“Scotchlite,” which had been introduced for signs and roadway markings, was equally effective in marking aircraft, military vehicles, landing strips, and tank trails.

3M Abrasives

Abrasives were not neglected. A new division, New Methods Engineers, developed new machinery, including a wide variety of grinders and coated abrasive belts to speed up industrial production.

3M Resins & Adhesives

In the 3M laboratories, scientists developed non-rubber synthetic resins to produce adhesives used in the manufacture of ships, planes, and military equipment.