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It’s all in the Core

Its all in the Core

Due to its robust and lightweight properties, our Thermhex product is being used for a wide range of applications, the latest of which is as a core material by fibreglass manufacturers. Here we take a look at how fibreglass is manufactured and why Thermhex is proving to be an ideal core material.

“Fibreglass, which is a common type of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) has a wide range of applications, from marine and construction to pipe and tank formation. The glass fibre can be randomly arranged, flattened into a sheet (called a chopped strand mat), or woven into a fabric. The matrix may be a thermosetting plastic – most often epoxy, polyester resin – or vinylester, or a thermoplastic.

Glass fibres are considered the predominant reinforcements for polymer matrix composites due to their high electrical insulating properties, low susceptibility to moisture and high mechanical properties.

The material is not only durable, waterproof, corrosion resistant and non-conductive, but it can also be moulded into practically anything, giving manufacturers unlimited possibilities and allowing for much more design freedom than with solid metal or wood based structures.

Pound for pound fibreglass is also stronger than sheet metal, resistive to corrosive chemicals, and, when made with special fire-retardant resins, in the event of fire, your products only char and do not burn up. However, when using fibreglass, particularly in resin form, a base material, such as a robust panel, is required to act as a core.

It is important that when choosing a material for the core, manufacturers opt for something that has the same or similar properties as fibreglass.

Thermhex is an innovative robust material manufactured from polypropylene honeycomb that, like fibreglass, is suitable for use with a number of applications including truck bodies and boat decking. The panels offers a weight saving of up to 85%, compared with materials such as plywood, which is what makes them a popular choice when a light but rigid core is required for products such as truck trailers, boat and yacht fittings and even wind turbines.

When a fibreglass mould includes a Thermhex core, the two combined creates a product that is extremely waterproof, lightweight and rigid. Together the materials can be used to create endless products, from smaller items such as skateboard planks to pond linings and even swimming pool bases.

It is for these reasons that we are experiencing a rise in the number of fibreglass kits suppliers that are choosing Thermhex for the core material. In addition, due to its strong but lightweight properties we have also seen an increase in boat and caravan builders, as well as suppliers of raised roofs for campervans, specifying Thermhex for use when manufacturing with fibreglass.

Manufactured in Germany in an innovative, patented process which ensures rigidity in terms of its mechanical strength, as well as stability, Thermhex is resistant to chemicals and moisture. In addition as part of ensuring ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials, it is also 100% recyclable.

The material can be purchased in a standard sheet of 2500mm x 1200mm, or we can supply bespoke sizes up to a maximum of 7000mm in length.

Thermhex is supplied in thicknesses ranging from 3.5mm to 30mm and is also available in different core densities to suit specific applications.

At our two manufacturing plants in Yorkshire, we have the latest laminating & CNC equipment that gives us the ability to manufacture bespoke sandwich panels with Thermhex as the core. We can also machine Thermhex panels to bespoke shapes.”

For further information, or to receive a quote for Thermhex, email sales@panelsystems.co.uk or call 01909 774914.