Innovations in Honeycomb Composites

Natural honeycomb structures occur in many different environments, from beehives to honeycomb weathering in rocks. Based on these, man-made honeycomb structures have been built with similar geometry to allow the reduction of the quantity of material used, and thereby realizing minimal weight and material cost.

Man-made honeycomb structures have an array of hollow cells formed between thin vertical walls, so that the material has minimal density, strength in tension and high out-of-plane compression properties. Aluminum Honeycomb Panels Aerospace

Innovations in Honeycomb Composites

Honeycomb structures are manufactured using three conventional methods, namely, expansion, corrugation and molding, which can be traced back to the 1900s.

Today, the manufacture of honeycomb cores involves the use of the expansion and corrugation processes where composite materials such as fibreglass, aluminium, and carbon fiber reinforced plastic are used. To manufacture thermoplastic honeycomb cores, the raw material used is polypropylene and the method used is extrusion.

A more recent cost efficient method for the manufacture of thermoplastic honeycomb structures enables continuous in-line production and direct lamination of skin. Similarly, continuous in-line production of metal honeycomb can also be performed from metal rolls by cutting and bending.

Apart from metal honeycomb composite structures, there are also paperboard honeycomb materials that are being manufactured for use in paper pallets and package blocking, cushioning, and bracing.

The following is a list of companies manufacturing a variety of honeycomb composite materials with a brief introduction to each:

The key benefits of using honeycomb composites are given below:

Honeycomb materials can be used in a huge number of applications. Some of the common applications are as follows:

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Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Innovations in Honeycomb Composites

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