You might not realize it, but sandpaper is a big deal. Many of the manufactured items in our lives need to be buffed and smoothed in some way before we can use them. Sandpaper isn’t one size fits all, either. Different materials can require a different sandpaper to achieve an optimal finish. It’s not a static field either. Whenever an innovation is made in the composition of steel or some other material, new sandpapers need to be developed. The chemistry behind the development of new sandpapers and new grinding wheels is surprisingly sophisticated and research is ongoing.
That’s where Sarah Mullins comes in. Mullins an advanced research specialist in the abrasive systems division at 3M. In this video, Mullins talks about the challenges she faces in her field and where she finds inspiration. She also talks about how young chemists can get started in industrial chemistry and 3M’s mission of using innovation and technology to improve people’s lives.