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6/12/2019

EconCore thermoplastic honeycomb panel production technology

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EconCore’s ThermHex honeycomb technology converts thermoplastics to high-performance, lightweight honeycomb core structures and, combined with inline lamination of skins, produces lightweight sandwich panels.

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EconCore (Leuven, Belgium)’s ThermHex honeycomb technology converts thermoplastics to high-performance, lightweight honeycomb core structures and, combined with inline lamination of skins, produces lightweight sandwich panels. The true honeycomb structure is said to outperform other low-density cores such as fluted or cup-shaped structures sometimes used in packaging and automotive applications.
 
EconCore’s continuous honeycomb panel production technology consists of feeding (by direction extrusion or pre-extruded flat film/sheet), vacuum forming of the film/sheet to a half-hexagonal “half honeycomb” pattern, folding of the pattern to a technical honeycomb core structure and bonding of skin materials onto the honeycomb core to make sandwich panels. The high-speed, inline process is said to enable users to develop products at minimal cost, minimal weight and minimal environmental impact.
 
The technology is said to provide ideal thermoformability, thermal insulation and acoustic absorption for automotive applications such as reusable packaging with collapsible sleeve packs. A range of core materials can be used with this technology, including polyolefins like PP and PE, thermoplastics including PET, PVC, ABS, PMMA and bio-based PLA, and high-performance polymers such as PC, PA, PPS and PEI. The versatility extends to skin materials ranging from thermoplastics to thermoplastic composites reinforced with glass fiber, carbon fiber or natural fibers.

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