CAMX 2014 preview: EconCore

Thermoplastic honeycomb core specialist EconCore (Leuven, Belgium) is emphasizing its ThermHex honeycomb technology, the RENOLIT Gorecell line and the LANXESS Tepex line.

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Thermoplastic honeycomb core specialist EconCore (Leuven, Belgium) is emphasizing its ThermHex honeycomb technology, the RENOLIT Gorecell line and the LANXESS Tepex line. The ThermHex line includes polypropylene (PP, the most widely used), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), bioplastics, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), PS (polystyrene), PC (polycarbonate), PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), PA (polyamide), PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) and others. In-line with the core production, skins can be laminated onto the honeycomb, directly after the core is made. ThermHex Waben, EconCore’s daughter company in Germany, produces the ThermHex PP honeycomb core material for composite applications. The thickness of this honeycomb core material typically ranges from 3 mm/0.12 inch to 30 mm/1.2 inches. Its density can vary from 40 kg/m3 to 200 kg/m3, offering a compression strength as high as 6 MPa. 

RENOLIT Gorecell combines the RENOLIT WOOD-STOCK product with an ultralight honeycomb structure. This results in a thermoplastic lightweight panel with wood-plastic composite sheets on the top and the bottom, which give an aesthetic and natural character to the panel in addition to having high stability and stiffness.

Recently EconCore joined forces with Lanxess to develop new thermoplastic sandwich materials, called Tepex, for automotive applications. The cores are made from Durethan polyamides with the help of an automated, continuous process patented by EconCore. In addition, Tepex continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites from LANXESS subsidiary Bond-Laminates can be combined with the new polyamide honeycomb cores to produce high-performance composites. This combination reportedly opens up new possibilities in lightweight construction — e.g., high load-bearing structural automotive parts.

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