EconCore bets on sustainability: saving weight, cost and environment with honeycomb panel technology based on PP, recycled PET and high-performance thermoplastics
Published on 12-09-2022
EconCore Group, world leader in economic honeycomb sandwich material production technology, has installed a new production line for its lightweight honeycombs based on recycled PET (RPET), another massive contribution to the circular economy.
The new line is capable of production of honeycomb cores in widths up to 1.2m. At the same time, the unique design of the line allows for processing of other thermoplastic materials such as polycarbonate, polyamide or polyetherimide (high-performance-thermoplastics, HPT).
The developments of RPET honeycomb technology have been triggered by an increasing demand and market shift towards the use of more sustainable materials.
RPET honeycomb cores are made of up to 100% recycled post-consumer and post-industrial waste. These honeycomb cores can be laminated with conventional FRPs into performing sandwich panels and parts. In combination with PET or PET composite skins, they offer fully recyclable, highly sustainable and lightweight panel solution.
The group, consisting of EconCore NV in Belgium and the German ThermHex Waben GmbH, focuses on production of PP honeycomb core and PP composite sandwich panels. The team is well advanced in developments across a wide range of industries, including automotive, transport, construction and, with regard to HPT honeycomb, also aerospace. These sectors are developing a growing appetite for lightweight materials produced sustainably.
Tomasz Czarnecki, Chief Operations Officer at EconCore, said: “The demand for development of sustainable material solutions is very evident these days and it runs through the DNA of EconCore. Over the past years we have been extending the range of applications of our PP honeycomb technology where its cost and weight efficiency, combined with excellent recyclability were allowing for dynamic market evolutions.”
“Then, recognizing the global problem of agglomerated PET waste, we decided to optimise the technology towards RPET materials. This development was immediately recognised - we just won the European Green Award and were awarded the prestigious Solar Impulse Label. But most rewarding is the interest we receive from the industry.”
“We are already engaged in development programs over a wide spectrum of applications where the cost, weight and sustainability are of critical importance.”
“With the RPET honeycomb technology, not only are the various industries able to improve their own impact on the environment by stripping out weight in transport, for example, but also the EconCore’s energy efficient production process itself brings benefits with regard to carbon footprint positioning. It is a win all round.”
EconCore group will be exhibiting at IAA Transportation in Hannover, Germany, at CAMX 2022, in Anaheim, California, USA and at the K 2022, Düsseldorf, Germany. At all three shows, EconCore group will present the RPET honeycomb technology along with ThermHex Waben’s new offering of lightweight PP honeycomb panels. The PP sandwich panels, an in-line produced laminate of PP honeycomb core and PP/glass fibre skins, are an excellent (up to 80% weight saving) replacement of plywood, monolithic panels and other conventional materials. They exhibit an outstanding performance-to-cost ratio, easy recyclability, and – for applications requiring parts of complex geometries – they can be compression moulded in an effective one-step process.
EconCore will also present its high-performance-thermoplastic honeycomb technology addressing the needs of demanding applications, including railway and aerospace.
If you would like to learn more about EconCore Group’s honeycomb technology, you can talk to the team directly at several shows over the next few weeks – IAA Transportation, CAMX and K Show.