ThermHex and PANEELtec – a combination of cores results in high performance sandwich panel
At the end of 2012 PANEELtec ordered ThermHex honeycomb cores for the first time. Since then, the partnership has grown steadily. One of the most requested products from Paneeltec is the Duo-Core which consists of a ThermHex honeycomb core and a foam core. By employing ThermHex’s thermoplastic honeycomb core PANEELtec has reduced the weight by 10% and improved the properties of the panels. The cores are used for the production of sandwich panels for major commercial vehicle and trailer manufacturers in Germany, Austria and Netherlands. The sales of the honeycomb increased by 47% in 2020/21 compared to the previous year.
The panels are mechanically stronger, with a 20 mm sheet thickness now able to be deployed with honeycomb without problems. Under mechanical load, the cells of the former used PU foam fracture, so that bubbles can form under the GRP face sheets.
With a 20 mm full honeycomb panel, this danger does not exist at all, but this panel also has no insulating effect. If both insulation and mechanical strength is required, the Duo-Core, or the Triple-Core is the best choice.
The combination of insulation and mechanical strength in PANEELtec’s Duo-Core is achieved by adding a foam core to a 3.5 mm honeycomb core. The result is a panel where the mechanical load dissipates onto the surface and thus the cells of the foam remain intact. These properties are further enhanced with Triple-Core product, which also makes use of the honeycomb technology.
Jürgen Schmidt, CEO of PANEELtec said: “Every gramme of weight we can remove from a trailer, mobile home or boat will save energy and money. With ThermHex honeycomb cores in our Duo-Core panels we achieve weight savings of 10%, and this is money in the pocket of our customers and good for the environment. It also gives other benefits such as firmness, durability and strength.“
Dr Jochen Pflug, CEO of ThermHex Waben, said: “Low weight and durability are fantastic properites in panels for vehicles. The addtional compression resistant honeycomb core allows to reduce the skin thickness and the foam core density. We are pleased to enable PANEELtec to offer such innovative panels to the market.“
PANEELtec produces large-format sandwich panels using a vacuum adhesive process. This enables the production of large-format, lightweight, stable and, depending on the combination of top layers, cores and inserts, highly functional panels. The universal, lightweight, insulating panels have a wide range of applications in a broad spectrum of industries.
ThermHex’s polypropylene (PP) honeycomb cores are used wherever an optimum strength to weight ratio is required. This includes automotive, boat, yacht, and shipbuilding, interior and furniture, building and construction, wind and solar energy, swimming pools, prefabricated bathrooms and others.
ThermHex Waben uses green power for the production of its honeycomb cores as the electricity comes from renewable sources. The processing and monitoring of the green power supply is certified according to TÜV SÜD CMS Standard 92. This guarantees a reliable and traceable procurement, balancing and delivery of electrical energy from renewable sources.
ThermHex Waben GmbH started its production in 2010 and is a licensee of EconCore NV (Belgium), the technology leader for cost-efficient sandwich material production technologies.