3M Purification, formerly known Cuno, comes from the Company’s founder, Charles Cuno, who started the Company in 1912 in Meriden, Connecticut. The Company began as a supplier of mechanical parts to the automobile industry but began to develop metal and mechanical filters early in its existence. During the 1960’s it turned its attention solely to filtration and developed a line of resin bonded depth filters for the industrial market that are still in production today. Progressing to finer and more sophisticated filtration, CUNO’s engineers invented a patented cellulose based filter that was charge modified, permitting the filtration of sub-micron particles, smaller than the pores of the filter. Variations of this filter are used today in the blood fractionation and biopharmaceutical industries. CUNO was a pioneer in the development of microporous membranes, and patented the use of nylon 66 for the formation of filtration membrane.
Finally, leveraging the technology developed for the industrial market over to the residential and commercial drinking water market, the Company launched a full line of products under the Aqua-Pure® brand name. Most recently CUNO patented a unique carbon block process that results in a product that reduces a wide variety of chemical contaminants in water while delivering high flow rates and low pressure drop.
In 2005 CUNO was acquired by 3M and now operates as a division within the Industrial and Transportation Business. The acquisition combined the innovation of 3M with the filtration application know-how of CUNO. The combined entity participates in virtually all the key markets for liquid filtration. CUNO has fully integrated into 3M’s international organization capitalizing on the growing market for cleaner fluids in industry and cleaner, better tasting water for people around the world.