EconCore upscaling to RPET and High Performance Thermoplastic (HPT) honeycomb production
Published on 09-04-2021
EconCore, specialist in lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb core technology, recognizes the challenge to move towards sustainable growth and a more efficient use of resources. Therefore, EconCore decided to invest into a new industrial line for large scale development and production of recycled PET and HPT honeycombs. The company has further developed the production technology to make honeycomb materials from recycled PET waste streams and made progress in the next generation of high-performance thermoplastic (HPT) honeycomb materials.
These developments started as a result of a pull from the market demanding more sustainable materials and the shift to focus towards thermoplastic solutions with high end applications for the aerospace and automotive markets. The cost-efficient and continuous production of sandwich panels based on the thermoplastic honeycomb technology, is well established within the production facilities of several EconCore customers worldwide. ThermHex Waben GmBH, EconCore’s daughter company, is currently the leader of PP honeycomb core production thanks to its innovative solutions and patents licensed from EconCore. The success of the patented production technology was therefore taken as a baseline to further enhance the development towards the next generation of the ThermHex process, which can convert recycled and engineered polymers into RPET and HPT honeycomb cores and panels.
With the RPET honeycomb core, EconCore sees opportunities in many applications such as the cost sensitive automotive market. Also, other markets have interesting applications where this material can be an excellent fit. The use of RPET honeycomb cores gives a sustainable solution with a good Life Cycle Assessment and low carbon footprint which fits the world-wide sustainability targets.
Additionally, the high-performance honeycomb core can be a sustainable solution for increasing awareness of the benefits regarding thermoplastic composites in high end applications within the automotive, aerospace and mass transportation markets. HPT honeycombs meet the demand for cost-effective, high end thermoplastic composites which are lightweight, strong, fatigue resistant, functionalizable and recyclable.
The ThermHex technology enables the flexible switch between different polymers. Next to the other big advantage of the fully continuous, high-speed and energy-efficient production process. With this scale up EconCore can provide new solutions for sustainable and high-end applications.