Companies develop thermoplastic honeycomb core

EconCore, Toray and Bostik have joined forces to develop a thermoplastic honeycomb core sandwich panel suitable for use in mass transportation applications, including aircraft interiors. 

The panel uses Toray’s Cetex reinforced thermoplastic laminates as skins, EconCore’s thermoplastic honeycomb core based on thermoplastic chemistries, and Bostik’s flame retardant thermoplastics polyester web adhesive. According to the companies, the new material passes fire, smoke and toxicity regulations applying to aircraft interiors.

Econcore says that making a thermoset core requires a longer and more expensive handling and processing of the sandwich components, while, in using its continuous process and compression molding, the thermoplastic technology can take around 60 seconds to form the desired shape. 

The honeycomb skin can also be easily recycled, shredded and repurposed into composites, the company said.

The traditional phenolics usually used for curing have reportedly been replaced with a web adhesive which is flame retardant and meets the fire, smoke and toxicity requirements.

‘We have been able to develop a sustainable technology that is recyclable and which, next to the automotive and transportation applications where it is widely used already, has the potential to be used in a variety of markets such as rail, aviation or ship building,’ said Tomasz Czarnecki, COO of EconCore.

This story uses material from EconCore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.