For some years now many leading companies have used EconCore ThermHex technology for making thermoplastic honeycomb core materials and panels. With licensees on three continents including North America, Europe, and Asia, companies targeting industrial packaging, automotive interiors, commercial transportation, for example, find competitive advantage in the high speed, continuous in line production process that distinguishes the technology. Furthermore, the range of core and skin material combinations with a variety of thermoplastics proven for core production and skin materials ranging from thermoplastics for mono-material sandwich panels, to fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites, metal skins and more, broaden the field of possibilities across many sectors.
The honeycomb structure has long been appreciated in applications where volumes are relatively low and cost, although a growing concern in all sectors is less so than in higher volume areas. With the high speed cost efficiency of the technology, the material efficient honeycomb structure is being brought to the mass markets
More recently, building materials producers and product developers have turned their focus towards the potential of honeycomb core materials. The prospect of optimizing weight to performance is compelling for multiple links in the building value chain (production, logistics, installation, end user, etc.). Now that process innovation provides the opportunity for honeycomb core materials at the high volumes needed in the building sector, new products are already on the market and many more are in the minds of product developers, on the drawing boards and under prototyping for validation for interior and exterior, residential, commercial and industrial building applications.
This article appeared in the November–December 2017 issue of Reinforced Plastics.