Dr. Dennis L. Krueger, a longtime 3M corporate scientist known throughout the company as the “Father of Coextrusion,” has been inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame.
Krueger, who has 70 patents to his name, joins 71 prior inductees dating back to 1976. (Last year’s inductees were Ralph Samuelson, the inventor of water skis, and Dr. Bradford Parkinson, one of the pioneers behind GPS technology.)
Each year, the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame honors one to four innovators who were either born, raised or spent much of their career working in Minnesota.
Krueger’s entry into the Hall of Fame was in large part due to his multi-business, multi-technology contributions. His innovations with coextrusion technology, or the process of simultaneously manufacturing a film with different layers of properties, are widely used around world today.
For example, optical films applied to smartphones use coextrusion technology to help protect the screen and, at the same time, make what’s on the screen easier to read. Similarly, diaper tape that has a highly elastic inner layer and strong outer layers uses coextrusion technology; as do certain industrial tapes, first aid dressings, oil absorbing cleanup products, and personal respirators.
Altogether, Kruger’s work at Maplewood-based 3M is said to have generated more than $1 billion in product sales.