EconCore and DuPont Performance Materials (DuPont) are combining their technologies in order to make wide, strong and rigid honeycomb panels with unique performance.
EconCore explains that using a wide range of polymers available from DuPont, the ultra-light core of these sandwich panels can be fine-tuned to meet customers’ needs. DuPont Zytel nylon resin and Surlyn ionomer resin materials have already been transformed successfully, with the aim to deliver high-temperature-resistant honeycomb cores, which are also tough and resilient.
“The patented continuous process to make light, rigid and strong cores really enables us to deliver unique possibilities to our customers,” said Fabrice Giaume, Technical Programs Leader for DuPont Vizilon thermoplastic composite at the DuPont European technical centre in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to EconCore, the honeycomb cores are combined with skins made of Vizilon thermoplastic composite, a very light, continuously reinforced fibre composite sheet based on a high-temperature-resistant, heat-stabilised polyamide matrix. In various configurations, the honeycomb cores find an ally of choice to maximise stiffness and strength at a minimal weight, with dimensions never achieved before.
“EconCore’s ThermHex technology for continuous production of sandwich panels with thermoplastic honeycomb core has proven to be capable of delivering high-performance sandwich panels at high efficiency and cost levels not achievable for conventional methods,” said Tomasz Czarnecki, Technology Manager at EconCore. “We look forward to this new development and believe that materials from DuPont, with their unique set of properties, can offer us the perspective of expanding the spectrum of viable applications. Within the in-line integrated ThermHex technology, Zytel based honeycomb core can be welded with the Vizilon thermoplastic composite, delivering sandwich panels with a very stable core-skin interfacial connection.”
“We also are looking at making honeycomb panels with dissimilar materials, using EconCore continuous process in combination with special high-temperature thermoplastic adhesives, such as DuPont Elvamide,” Fabrice Giaume said, “offering a wider range of possible applications to the skin-core combination.”
EconCore and DuPont Performance Materials believe the transportation, construction, leisure and energy segments will constitute a pool of potential applications for such high-temperature-resistant, resilient and strong honeycomb panels.