DuPont™ Vizilon® Thermoplastic Composite Enables Design of Strong High-Temperature Composite Honeycomb Panels

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DuPont Performance Materials and EconCore N.V., the world leader in new technologies for honeycomb sandwich panels, have combined technologies to produce very strong and rigid composite honeycomb panels that boast unique performance benefits at previously unimaginable sizes. This team sees significant promise for the panels in transportation, construction, energy and many other applications.

Made with a variety of DuPont polymers including Zytel® nylon resin and Surlyn® ionomer resin, the composite honeycomb panels feature cores that are tough, resilient and resistant to temperature extremes. When combined with skins made of Vizilon® TPC—a very light, continuously reinforced fiber composite sheet—the honeycomb panels achieve high levels of strength and stiffness with minimal weight, enabling dimensions that have never been achieved before.

“The proprietary  continuous process to make light, rigid and strong cores really enables us to deliver unique possibilities to our customers,” said Fabrice Giaume, technical programs leader for DuPont™ Vizilon® TPC at the company’s European Technical Center in Geneva. “We also are looking at making honeycomb panels with dissimilar materials, using EconCore continuous process in combination with special high-temperature thermoplastic adhesives, such as DuPont™ Elvamide®, offering a wider range of possible applications to the skin-core combination.”

Tomasz Czarnecki, technology manager at EconCore N.V., agreed. “EconCore’s ThermHex technology for continuous production of sandwich panels with thermoplastic honeycomb core has proven to be capable of delivering high-performance sandwich panels at high efficiency and cost levels not achievable for conventional methods,” he said. 

“We look forward to this new development and believe that materials from DuPont, with their unique set of properties, can offer us the perspective of expanding the spectrum of viable applications,” said Czarnecki. “Within the in-line integrated ThermHex technology, Zytel®-based honeycomb core can be welded with Vizilon® TPC, delivering sandwich panels with a very stable core-skin interfacial connection.”