The panels, which received the award at the JEC 2022 show, are 100% recyclable and also incorporate content from production waste. They are made of Diab’s Divinycell F structural foam core with thermoplastic skins, materials already tested and qualified by aerospace OEMs, according to the company.
Diab says that it also created a new process to make the panels which saves up to 20% of the cost, up to 10% of weight, and offers improved mechanical and fire resistance behaviour when compared to current honeycomb core and phenolic resin/glass fiber solutions. This process avoids using an adhesive film, instead welding together skins and core to create improved adhesive properties.
The company also uses coating systems developed for the cabin interior market that can effectively be ‘welded’ to the panel as it is molded in a single, one-step process using induction heating. This method takes minutes rather than hours, Diab said.
“We wanted to simplify the manufacturing process as much as possible with a single step pro-cess, with the panel ready to use out of the mould as the ultimate target,” said Aurelien Lafforgue, aerospace manager at Diab.