We use a lot of products everyday- from a simple post-it note to more advanced electronics such as our smartphones. But we rarely get the chance to see and experience the technology that goes behind these products.
Yesterday though, I got the chance to see and even experience some of the popular products that we use at home and in the workplace during the 3M’s Innovation Tour in their Technical Center at Bangkal, Makati.
3M stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing and is one of the largest multinational companies in different industries such as health care and consumer products. You might be more familiar with their popular products such as house cleaning products (Scoth Brite pads), office supplies (Scotch Tape) , and car accessories (3M car mat).
However, 3M is a company with a long and interesting history and has a wide range of products ranging from abbrasives (sandpaper) to dental care (Clinpro).
One of the presentations in the Innovation Tour is the different parts that can be found inside our mobile phones.
When we use our phones, we actually look at it as one seamless piece of machine. But under the hood, it actually comes in different layers.
And how are these layers held in place?
Tech companies actually use various adhesive materials such as electronic switch adhesives (see image above). 3M develops and creates these technologies in order to produce these adhesive and distributes these products to numerous mobile phone companies.
Not only that , they also produce products that help protect and clean our electronics. One of the most awesome products they have is called Novec Fluids.
Novec is a “revolutionary class of chemicals”. It’s a liquid that can be used as a protective film to help protect electronic parts from water.
Surprisingly, this same product can also be used for fire suppression. There are three things that are needed in order to start a fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel. Take one of these elements and fire will not flourish. Most fire extinguishers actually remove oxygen or the fuel source. However, there are scenarios that removing these two elements are not ideal.
Now, what Novec does is remove heat. This becomes a good alternative as it does not deprive people with oxygen.
Here’s a video on how this technology works:
Another tiny yet very important part of the mobile phone is the Water Contact Indicator Tape.
Mobile phone parts, adhesive, and cleaning products are not even half of the technologies that 3M showcased in their Innovation Tour. It’s jus the tip of the technological iceberg! 🙂
After the tour, I realized there’s actually so much research and work that goes behind even the simplest products. It’s comforting to know that companies such as 3M continues to innovate to make people’s lives easier and safer.
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