EconCore, a leader in thermoplastic honeycomb core production technology, collaborates with Ultrapolymers and DuFor in an R&D project funded by the Flemish Government to develop a new product: a thermoplastic honeycomb core made from recycled PET. The basis of this development is EconCore’s worldwide patented process for continuous and cost-effective production of thermoplastic honeycombs.
Ultrapolymers and DuFor have knowledge and expertise in processing PET and recycled PET (rPET) polymers. DuFor’s advise was of key importance to find the optimal composition of the PET polymers and chemical additives that benefit the crystallisation process, even during fast cooling, and keep the semi-crystalline state stable during and after the manufacturing process.
The two-year project was funded by the Flemish government who acknowledged the innovative technology and ecological aspect in this new product and process development. Using the existing patented ThermHex technology which is stated to allow for fast, continuous production, EconCore managed to further improve and upgrade the process to allow the use of recycled materials that are being converted into high performing cost-efficient honeycomb cores. These honeycomb cores and PET-based semi-fnished sandwich panels are intended for a range of different applications, including transportation, building & construction, packaging, furniture and others.