Honeycomb paper imparts strength, slashes costs

What was developed by Honicel during the World Wars as a light-weight, durable and reliable construction concept for aircraft manufacturing has today emerged as an eco-friendly and cost-saving boon to the doors industry as well.

The honeycomb structure continues to be the most effective and time-efficient core for doors.

 

The hexagonal structure in the beehive is a wonderful example of the ways in which minimum material or energy solutions tend to evolve in nature. Although triangles and squares can also be used to fill a space without gaps, for a given circumference of material the hexagon surrounds the largest area.

 

Bearing this “science of nature” in mind Honicel has, over the last 70 years, converted this fundamental knowhow into a sandwich construction material using recycled paper.

 

The purpose of a core in a composite door is to increase its stiffness dramatically with very little additional weight. Honicel’s honeycomb sandwich construction may be compared with the I-beam structure commonly used in the construction industry.

 

In sandwich construction, a low density core material is sandwiched between two strong thin facings of any kind of material, resulting in a lightweight, incredibly strong, stiff composite structure, which acts in the same manner as a continuous  I-beam, with the skins and flanges taking bending stresses, while the core acts as a web to carry shear and compressive loads.

 

Cost-effective

 

The growing demand and exploitation of raw material for construction has resulted in its scarcity and non-sustainable extraction. It has led to deforestation and climate change due to uncontrolled emissions of green-house gases.

 

It has resulted in a growing awareness of the need to innovate and re-design products, to make them more eco-friendly and to minimise the consumption of raw materials up to an absolute minimum.

 

The application of the honeycomb structure in products results in significant reduction of consumption of raw materials – among them wood, steel and oil – and at the same time offers the opportunity to produce extremely strong sandwich panels at a minimum weight.

 

The significant gains from such re-engineering also result in less protective packaging, lower transportation and fuel costs, and an increase in transportation efficiency, cost-effective production and processing and considerable cost savings! What is more, the Honicel honeycomb is based on 100% FSC-certified recycled paper and environment-friendly glues.

 

Many specifications

 

Honicel honeycomb cores are available in a variety of specifications for sandwich constructions, ranging from recycled light-weight grey paper to heavy-weight special papers and all types and qualities in between. There are Honicel honeycomb cores for low-load applications (internal doors) to high-strength, light-weight components for automotive structures.

 

Honicel honeycomb can be processed into both flat and curved composite structures, and can be made to conform to compound curves without excessive mechanical force or heating.

 

Honicel honeycomb, in combination with all kinds of skin materials with good tension features of the top and bottom surface, offers a superb durable sandwich panel with high strength and impact resistance. The small cell sizes of Honicel offer more contact surface for the glue and creates superb bonding between the skins and the Honicel honeycomb core.

 

The Honicel honeycomb is supplied in a closed shape as a continuous web on a pallet – an average pallet of Honicel honeycomb contains more than 1 km length of endless honeycomb. It can be treated to obtain water resistance and/or become fire retardant.

 

Many applications

 

The Honicel honeycomb can be used as core in combination with almost any sheet material – such as wood, gypsum board, plywood, medium and high-density fibre boards, high-pressure laminates, thermoplastics (melamine), sheet metals (aluminium or steel), glass, fibreglass, marbles and all kinds of synthetic materials.

 

All types of paper and paper board materials can also be used as skin material for creating the Honicel honeycomb sandwich construction (Honipack). For special applications it is even possible to fill the cells of the Honicel with rigid foam, so that thermal and acoustic insulation properties are increased.

 

Honicel’s strategy is to focus on product innovation, production innovation, processing innovation, offering its products and services worldwide, and establishing Honicel marketing and production companies in strategic markets. Its honeycomb production unit is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

 

 

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