ThermHex is a core material which is used in the construction of lightweight sandwich panels due to its rigidity, strength and lightweight qualities, provided by its honeycomb structure.
In this guide, we will take a look at the applications for ThermHex polypropylene as a core material and how it compares to other core materials such as aluminium.
Click on the links below to jump to the relevant sections:
- What are the key benefits of ThermHex as a polypropylene honeycomb core?
- Polypropylene vs Aluminium Lightweight Panels
- Industries that can benefit from ThermHex
- What does ThermHex bond to?
- Why choose Panel Systems as a ThermHex supplier?
What are the key benefits of ThermHex as a polypropylene honeycomb core?
ThermHex honeycomb cores offer lightweight properties with no sacrifices to strength and stability. The honeycomb structure is formed using a patented process which ensures its rigidity and mechanical strength.
The material is manufactured with polypropylene which ensures the finished material remains stable. The finish is a fine fleece which assists with the bonding of additional facing materials and is provided in a thickness range between 3.5mm and 28mm.
A lightweight solution
ThermHex honeycomb panels are extremely lightweight which helps to reduce fuel consumption and costs when used for applications such as vehicle bodies. In addition, the material provides a lightweight solution without having to sacrifice on strength or durability. In comparison to traditional materials such as MDF & Plywood, ThermHex can offer up to 85% weight savings.
Strength and stability
ThermHex offers unprecedented strength which means it can be used for a wide range of applications without compromising on space.
The stiffness and stability of ThermHex means internal structures are less susceptible to bending from vibration. Furthermore, its water-resistant properties mean the moisture damage and corrosion of more traditional materials are a thing of the past.
This combination of benefits means ThermHex is a material with great competitive strength and which can offer huge benefits to both manufacturers and their customers.
Polypropylene vs Aluminium Lightweight Panels
Aluminium is also used in the creation of modern honeycomb core panels. Whilst ThermHex panels are incredibly versatile, aluminium panels are usually recommended for more specialist applications such as railway, marine, façade and industrial applications.
Aluminium honeycomb is a more expensive material so ThermHex offers a more cost-effective option for most general applications. The moisture resistance of both products is extremely high, but aluminium is superior when it comes to non-combustibility, and energy efficiency.
The cutting flexibility of Aluminium is lower, making it a more challenging material to work with and it does not bond to other materials as easily as ThermHex. Both materials are useful for acoustic insulation to reduce noise and both are recyclable, though it does require more energy to recycle aluminium due to its higher melting point.
Industries that can benefit from ThermHex
ThermHex has a wide range of practical applications in many industries. Here are some examples of industries that can benefit from its strengths:
Fibre Glass / Resin Lay up
With its outer closure film, Thermhex provides the ideal surface for direct lamination of fibreglass and resin lay-up. This film prevents resins or adhesives from leaking into the open cells during processing and ensures the Thermhex core remains robust. At the same time, the quantity of resin / adhesive needed for processing is kept to a minimum.
This process is ideal when wanting to increase stiffness in lightweight larger parts in applications such as boat construction and camper van roofs.
When utilising fibreglass & resin, we would advise testing a small sample for compatibility with ThermHex prior to full production.
Automotive / Vehicle Panels
ThermHex honeycomb panels are a cost-effective solution for the production of lightweight, high-strength parts for the automotive sector. Parts such as truck bodies, caravans, door panels, luggage compartments, furniture panels, seat stiffeners and cabin floor systems can all benefit from the properties of this material.
In addition to producing key parts for automotive transport, ThermHex can also provide huge benefits in the production of:
- Buses and coaches
- Access Ramps
Properties such as compressive strength, insulation, water resistance, low weight and cost-effectiveness are core benefits of the material across the many facets of transportation.
Weight reduction means fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for the transport sector are lower. In addition, the high thermal efficiency of ThermHex means energy savings are also available for companies that use refrigerated goods vehicles. The material can also be recycled when it reaches the end of its lifespan.
Many areas of modern factories can also benefit from the properties that ThermHex offers. The strength-weight ratio is a particular advantage in many industrial environments, along with the durability, thermal resistance, water resistance and overall cost-effectiveness.
What does ThermHex bond to?
The standard surface finish to Thermhex is a PET non-woven material, which enables easy bonding of various types of facing materials with all common
adhesives, including polyurethane based glues. Typical facing materials used to create sandwich panels include:
- Metals such as aluminium and steel
- MDF & Plywoods
- GRP / FRP
- Decorative laminates
This adds to the material’s versatility as it can be used in combination with other materials in a way that won’t fail to meet regulatory requirements for strength.
In addition to the industries listed above, the bonding properties make ThermHex an effective material for many areas of construction. By using it in combination with other materials to produce powerful composites, the applications of ThermHex panels can be increased exponentially, and it is superior to other modern materials in terms of its bonding properties.
Why choose Panel Systems as a ThermHex supplier?
Panel Systems is able to offer a wide range of services and benefits as a ThermHex supplier. Our clients are able to draw on the expertise of our team from initial project planning through to installation.
CNC machining services
Panel Systems also offers an in-house CAD design service with the ability to CNC machine sandwich panels to bespoke shapes and sizes for custom and large-scale projects as needed. We have access to the latest 3 & 5 axis CNC machining equipment so our team can support you throughout your project from design to cutting and supply of materials.
ThermHex is supplied in a standard 2500 x 1250mm sheet size but, if your project requirements are different, we can cut the material accurately to your desired size up to lengths of 7000mm.
We’re able to bond the material to a wide range of facing materials including:
- Decorative laminate
Our expertise in the industry is unrivalled and we offer nothing short of an exceptional standard of service in terms of both longevity and reliability.
ISO 9001 approved
Panel Systems is ISO 9001 approved which provides our customers with the confidence that we can fulfil orders to a high standard and within specific timeframes. We regularly assess the management of the services we provide in order to comply with this standard which means our services are continuously improved.
Need More Help?
Contact our team to discuss your project needs today, our team have a wide knowledge and experience of a range of industries and materials.