The efficiency in use of resources of lightweight structures is delivering real benefits with the shortage of materials and increase in price severely impacting the production of plastic products in Europe.
The European Plastics Converters found that more than 90% of plastic converters within Europe were directly affected by the supply crisis. This has resulted in many plastic converter companies having no choice but to take on little to no new business and only able to honour agreements with existing customers.
ThermHex is proving to be an exception, because with its resource-efficient production process ThermHex is able to keep the raw material usage to a minimum. Recyclates specifically have seen a huge decrease in availability at sufficient quantities and a consistent level of quality. This has led to increasing in price and decreasing in availability for both virgin and recycled polymers.
Fortunately for ThermHex its highly automated and patented production process of polypropylene honeycomb cores and Organosandwich have barely been impacted. The production process of honeycomb cores is continuous and saves resources by using much less raw material compared to monolithic materials, like plywood.
Since the beginning of 2021 there has been a shortage in raw plastic materials. This has resulted in an exponential increase in price. The cost of polymer resins used to make plastic rose by a quarter between December 2020 and May 2021, the highest price in the last six years.
Jochen Pflug, CEO of ThermHex said: “The shortage of raw materials over the past few months has been difficult for the entire industry. Using of the sandwich construction principle makes especially sense in times of material shortage. Our ThermHex honeycomb cores help customers, which require only thin skins to make stiff and thick panels and can thus contribute to solve the recent shortages of raw materials”.
In the interest of all those involved in the value chain, ThermHex hopes that the situation on the raw materials market will soon normalise.
The technology of production of thermoplastic honeycombs used by ThermHex Waben has been developed and patented by EconCore from Belgium. A number of market leaders around the world, including ThermHex Waben, have licensed the technology for the production of honeycomb sandwich panels in different material configurations and for different applications.