} ThermHex honeycomb core insulates 2,000 camper van elevated roofs | CompositesWorld
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ThermHex honeycomb core insulates 2,000 camper van elevated roofs

Polypropylene honeycomb panels improve the camper vans’ fuel efficiency with 80% less weight, full functionality when wet and a stable foundation.

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Completed camper roof with PP honeycomb core.

Completed camper roof. Photo Credit: ThermHex Waben GmbH

ThermHex Waben GmbH (Halle, Germany), producer of high-quality honeycomb cores for economic sandwich panels and parts, and Panel Systems (Sheffield, U.K.), a British supplier of insulated panels, are introducing lightweight polypropylene (PP) honeycomb cores to the elevated roofs of 2,000 camper vans, which include Ford and Volkswagen.

According to ThermHex, the increased demand for honeycomb core roof panels comes as no surprise. In addition to being up to 80% lighter than the alternative material, plywood, the company’s product maintains full functionality if wet. Further, it forms part of a layer in the underside of the roof and provides a firm foundation for the other layers including ABS polymer, which becomes soft in hot weather.

The honeycomb cores are also very strong and rigid, and can be shaped as required, says ThermHex, all properties that make it appealing to the leisure vehicle industry. Manufactured in a patented process, it is resistant to chemicals and moisture. Working towards a CO2 neutral product, it is also 100% recyclable, and, since July 2020, is produce purely from a green power source (see “ThermHex launches new honeycomb core, aims for carbon neutrality”).

Recently, ThermHex Waben says it has launched a new core, with a reduction in cell size of almost 50%.

Working in partnership with Panel Systems since July 2012, ThermHex Waben’s honeycomb panels have been deployed in the lining of flooring and side panels of caravans and motor homes, as well as internal features such as furniture. Since July 2018 the lighter panels have been helping to improve the camper vans’ fuel efficiency.

“The ThermHex honeycomb core is a fantastically versatile material. It provides a firm foundation to wrap the other layers around, giving a lightweight structure that can withstand all weathers and conditions,” says Andy Taylor, product manager of Panel Systems Group. “It’s easy to work with and produces a strong and stable structure, with a beautiful finish. We are now looking at other applications where the innovative material might be introduced.”

Recently, ThermHex Waben says it has launched a new core, with a reduction in cell size of almost 50%. It has a height of 20 millimeters and cell size of 5 millimeters. Such a small cell size leads to a better surface quality and enables the use of the core in even more applications, says the company, such as visible interior and exterior surfaces in automotive.

Regardless, the company’s PP honeycomb cores are used wherever high-quality products with an optimum strength to weight ratio are required. This includes automotive, marine, wind and solar energy, and consumer products like furniture, swimming pools and prefabricated bathrooms.

The company says its goal is to enlarge its network around the globe and is looking for more distributors, especially in Europe and the U.S.

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