Wabash National to offer European composite technology in North America

Signs exclusive agreement EconCore of the Netherlands for honeycomb sandwich material continuous production technology

Wabash National Corporation (Lafayette, IN), a diversified industrial manufacturer and North America’s leading producer of semi-trailer and liquid transportation systems, has inked an agreement with EconCore N.V., a technology leader for continuous production of honeycomb sandwich materials, to execute EconCore’s patented honeycomb core production technology in North America. Wabash National has the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell certain honeycomb sandwich material configurations in the containment and transportation industries in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The honeycomb core technology offers significant material property advantages compared to existing materials, such as weight savings, shear strength and energy absorption. It is already used in numerous industries, including aerospace, automotive, marine, and wind and solar energy industries around the globe.

The structure of ThermHex polypropylene honeycomb cores incorporates PP closure film  layers to prevent resin ingress and reduce adhesive usage.

“We’re exploring a number of applications where we can innovate and use this honeycomb core technology in existing products to significantly reduce weight, thus providing our customers a superior value proposition,” explained Brian Bauman, vice president and general manager of Wabash Composites. “In addition, this technology allows us to continue to focus on our growth and diversification efforts as we explore new end markets and products.”

“Introduced in 1996, our proprietary DuraPlate composite panel technology set a new standard in the dry van trailer industry, providing durability and an unmatched level of equipment performance, which it continues to do today,” Bauman added. “The EconCore honeycomb composite is another innovative technology in our portfolio that will enable us to advance product performance for current and future customers.” 

“We’re excited to partner with Wabash National to introduce this technology to the transportation and containment industries in North America,” said Tomasz Czarnecki, technology manager at EconCore. “Our extensive experience with honeycomb sandwich materials combined with Wabash National’s expertise in lean/six sigma continuous manufacturing and industry leadership makes for a great partnership for years to come.”

EconCore is exhibiting at the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX) in Anaheim, California, September 26–29, 2016. Wabash National representatives are also attending the show.

EconCore’s ThermHex polypropylene honeycomb cores are suitable as a core material for the manufacture of sandwich panels by laminating with a range of skins and by various production processes such as hand laminating for the manufacture of panels with glass-fiber skins, thermoplastic lamination or bonding with duromer adhesives.

ThermHex honeycomb cores are manufactured incorporating polypropylene closure film layers as standard. This prevents the ingress of resin into The cells during processing, and therefore safeguards uniformity in the mechanical characteristics of the finished component. This also reduces the quantity of adhesive required to the minimum necessary. Polyester fleece layers  are employed on both sides as external layers.

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