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Bondo (putty)

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Bondo putty logo.svg
3M's Bondo logo
Product typeAutomotive body filler
Produced by3M

Bondo putty is an automotive body filler and a brand name used by 3M for a line of American-made products for automotive, marine and household repairs.[1][2] The term Bondo is trademarked by 3M, but is commonly used to refer to any brand of automotive repair putty due to its popularity.[3][4] It is also used by sculptors.[5]


Before the 1940s, body solder was often used to repair large imperfections prior to painting.[6] In both new cars and vehicle repair shops.[6] Solder repairs were conducted using a flame and wooden paddles covered in tallow or motor oil, which prevented the half-molten lead from sticking. After the war, automotive panels became thinner and larger, with a greater susceptibility to warping, making hot solder unsuitable.[7] The earliest 'plastic solder' can be traced to around 1940, a do-it-yourself solution to panel beating.

This gave the consumer the ability to attempt reasonably priced and long lasting repairs. These early fillers were epoxy-based and one part, drying by out gassing. Originally the plastic fillers performed badly compared to solder, but later improvements addressed this.[7] The most notable early filler was called Black Magic, and was popular before Bondo's introduction. Bondo, a two-part (resin with hardener added) mix of talc and plastic, was introduced in 1955.[7] It was developed by World War II veteran and automotive repair shop owner Robert Merton Spink of Miami, Florida.[8]


  1. DePass, Dee (28 June 2015). "Innovation Manufacturing; 3M Offers Easier Way to Bring the Shine Back to Headlights; the Kit Is Made for Do-It-Yourselfers to Use on Any Car. No Tools Needed". highbeam.com. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Retrieved 13 September 2018. 3M is well known for ... Its abrasives and metal-smoothing Bondo putties are standard in wreck repair shops nationwide.
  2. "Bondo finds second life in NASCAR garages". Autoweek. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. Breitenstein, Jeff. Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary: A-Bombs to Zoomies. MotorBooks International. p. 30. ISBN 9781610592352. Retrieved 14 September 2018. Bondo (BON-doe) n. Any polyester-based auto body filler. The extreme popularity of the Bondo brand has led to its name being used in a generic manner.
  4. "Bondo". directory.designnews.com. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  5. "Bronze Studio Thrives." The Register Guard (Eugene, OR). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2009. HighBeam Research. 14 Sep. 2018 <https://www.highbeam.com>. ("In 1992, when he was working at an auto body repair shop, he began sculpting with Bondo, the putty used to fill in dents, He entered an early sculpture into the Lane County Fair, where it took first place.")
  6. 6.0 6.1 Tilton, John E. (2015). Material Substitution: Lessons from Tin-Using Industries. Routledge. ISBN 9781317312031. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Duffy, James E. (2014). Auto Body Repair Technology. Cengage Learning. p. 367. ISBN 9781305176447. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  8. "Robert Merton Spink > Obituary". legacy.com. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2014-03-26.

External links[edit]

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