Renolit was also seeking to improve properties of, chemical, thermal, water-resistance and rot-resistance.
It was quickly concluded that the EconCore honeycomb technology was the solution, while EconCore could see that Renolit would be able to innovate and find new uses for the product, and so EconCore granted Renolit a license for the continuous production of honeycomb panels.
Renolit’s R&D team got to work exploring the issues and saw that EconCore’s honeycomb would produce a very high level of rigidity offering weight savings at the same time. Both companies quickly saw the potential for other applications, such as furniture, using various thermoplastic materials.
Using a composite skin and PP honeycomb core, the required material properties can be achieved. Renolit deployed the honeycomb in its Gorcell range of products. Though starting in the automotive sector, it is now also used in a wide range of applications, for example flight cases, outdoor kitchens, truck superstructures, and bakery panels.
More recently Renolit is selling through a subsidiary for the first time into the B2C market with products for gardens, balconies and terraces, such as tissue boxes, plant & high beets and fences. The honeycomb is enabling a systems solution for the area around the house and garden so that garden furniture, storage options and privacy screen fit together beautifully in design.
Having developed the technology over a number of years to meet the desired specification of the market, EconCore’s honeycomb has enabled Renolit Gorcell to overcome several technical challenges, such as panel planarity, reduced golf ball effect, and smooth, scratch free surfaces.
Compared to other standard materials on the market, Renolit Gorcell has huge benefits, such as special decorative surfaces and most importantly, is that light weighting and has excellent technical performance. It also combines with an aesthetic surface finish, giving a wood-like décor.
And this resonates strongly with EconCore’s powerful commitment to sustainability as the lightweight and durable honeycomb is stripping CO2 out of a variety of applications, not just transport.
As well as enhanced physical properties, the honeycomb also delivers commercial benefits, which can be fully exploited if deploying continuous extrusion.
The Renolit Gorcell production process includes film unwinding, vacuum forming, core calibration, skin layer lamination, panel calibration and cutting.
Bianka Nagy, marketing communications manager at EconCore said: “Working with RENOLIT has shown that our honeycomb technology delivers a range of benefits across a spectrum of applications”.
“They have really taken it up, run with it and pushed it into areas we wouldn’t have dreamt of. We look forward to continuing this ground-breaking work with Renolit in industries as diverse as automotive, caravans, outdoor and garden or beach furniture manufacture.”