Thermoplastic honeycomb core production technology provider EconCore (Leuven, Belgium) will showcase applications developed by the first North American licensee of its ThermHex technology at NPE2018. Several interior automotive parts from Mexico City–based Fynotej will debut at the EconCore booth, S31192.
Fynotej went into production earlier this year with a range of honeycomb sandwiches for automotive interiors. The PP honeycomb boards, branded Fynocore, have a PP honeycomb core with thermally bonded, in-line skins. The boards are available either as solid PP sheets or with a non-woven surface finish, combining low weight with high performance and aesthetic appeal.
“Fynocore products combine our expertise and experience in non-wovens with EconCore’s ThermHex honeycomb technology,” said Daniel Kalach, Vice President of Manufacturing at Fynotej. “They are recyclable, moisture inert, conversion is clean and fast, parts are high in performance but low in weight, and, most of all, costs are competitive. We are excited to be able to offer these innovative products to our customers throughout North America,” said Kalach.
Fynotej is already looking at high-volume non-automotive applications that will also benefit from the performance advantages of PP honeycomb panels, especially building and industrial applications. “We are very excited about our honeycomb production line, which has now started up in Mexico City,” added Kalach.
Tomasz Czarnecki, Chief Operating Officer at EconCore, said the successful startup of the Fynotej production line is a significant step forward for lightweight thermoplastics honeycomb composites in the North American automotive sector. “It is one of the latest additions to our network of licensees, which now spans Europe, Asia and North America, covering applications not only in automotive, but also in commercial transportation, building and construction, reusable industrial packaging and more,” he said.
Czarnecki also highlighted the success of another EconCore licensee in North America, Wabash National Corp., the region’s leading producer of semi-trailer and truck bodies. “The combination of thermoplastic honeycomb core with metal skins is another example of the versatility of the EconCore technology. The lightweighting efforts of Wabash National fit well into the market trends. The transportation and logistics markets, with regards to fuel efficiency regulations but also in view of pure cost savings targeted by fleet managers, are asking for a change.”
EconCore also reports that it has broadened its focus to high-performance thermoplastic (HPT) honeycomb core materials and sandwich panels. “The high-speed continuous technology has been a logical fit for high-volume applications using commodity thermoplastics,” said Czarnecki. “Now we are extending its capabilities to produce honeycomb cores in engineering plastics, including modified polycarbonate, polyamide 66, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and others.”
EconCore has already successfully produced and tested honeycombs in several HPTs at its recently refurbished R&D facilities in Leuven, Belgium. It will present the latest developments in these materials at NPE2018.