Scientists show Trudeau technology demos during visit to 3M

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a look at fluid designed to stop fires.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a look at fluid designed to stop fires. Liny Lamberink/AM980

Scientists had the chance to show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interactive science demonstrations at 3M Canada in London on Wednesday.

Trudeau made a stop at the global technology company’s Oxford Street location, where he also had a private meeting with executives.

“The world is changing, workplaces are changing, we can make sure that we’re giving Canadians the tools to succeed,” Trudeau told the company’s leaders, before media were ushered out of the room.

Dr. Doug Quong was the first to show Trudeau his work: a digital orthodontics system that uses 3D-in-motion imaging technology to create a true replica of a patient’s oral anatomy.

The second demonstration had Dr. Weixing Hou encouraging the prime minister to dunk his iPhone in a glass of water-like fluid. The fluid, dubbed 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, uses a cooling system designed to stop fires before they start, and won’t damage electronics or paper because it’s non-conductive.

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“Because when you drop your phone in water, it’s the conducting that short circuits various parts of it, which is the problem,” Trudeau said, as he put his phone in the glass and dabbed the substance with his fingers.

“Is there alcohol in there?” he laughed.

“[He] clearly understood the science behind what we do, and frankly I was a little surprised by that. I thought it was great,” said 3M’s executive director of research and development, and quality and regulatory affairs, Randy Frank.

“We had lots of engagement from the prime minister. Our intent today was to showcase some technologies that 3M’s developed both outside of Canada but also in Canada, for Canadian customers and Canadian business.”

Senior application development specialist Kejian Zhang was the last to show Trudeau his demonstration, a high strength, doubled-side tape that creates an instant bond without any drying time, which can be used as an alternative to rivets and fasteners in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Before leaving the facility, Trudeau took the time to meet and greet — and pose for photos — with 3M employees.

“Lots of really positive energy of course,” Frank said. “[It’s] Our first time having the PM visit a 3M site here in Canada.”