Belgium-based EconCore, specialised in thermoplastic honeycomb core production technology, has partnered with polymer distributor Ultrapolymers and DuFor, a producer of customised polyesters on an R&D project funded by the Flemish Government.
The project, aimed at developing a thermoplastic honeycomb core made from recycled PET, based on EconCore’s patented production process for thermoplastic honeycombs, will run for a total of two years.
Both Ultrapolymers and DuFor have brought extensive knowledge and expertise in processing PET and recycled PET (rPET) polymers to the project. Particularly valuable was DuFor’s input in finding the optimum combination of PET polymer and chemical additives for the crystallization process, even during fast cooling, while keeping the semi-crystalline state stable during and after the manufacturing process.
Thanks to the expertise of these partners EconCore ‘managed to develop a sustainable honeycomb core which is made entirely from recycled PET materials’, said Wouter Winant, technical manager at EconCore.
The PET honeycomb cores and PET-based semi-finished sandwich panels are suitable for a range of different applications, wherever ‘sustainable, low-cost but performing solutions are desired’, he added.
“These products have a huge potential to become a more cost-effective alternative solution to solid polymer sheets and foam cores, particularly those based on PET.”