JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 35

Composite materials for lighter vehicles

Thermoplastic
honeycomb technology
reduces the Hyundai
Creta's trunk floor
weight by 20%[1].png

A unique technology
The technology developed and patented by EconCore is unique. From a
granulate of thermoplastic resin, a honeycomb core is formed in a high-speed,
automated process. This ensures that
the cost of production is pretty much
driven by the material cost.
At the same time, given the high performance of the honeycomb structure,
the use of material is very limited.
A low-density honeycomb, when
combined with skin layers, delivers
a high-performance sandwich panel.
Within this technology, the application
of skin layers often takes place directly
as the honeycomb core is made, all

within an integrated production process
delivering maximum cost efficiency.
EconCore has a number of licensees all
over the world, many of which are working in the automotive industry, utilising
this process and delivering low-cost
but high-performance parts. For the
development with DPA Moldados, the
company decided to take a step-wise
approach, supplying PP honeycomb
core from its German manufacturing
site - ThermHex Waben. The core is
laid-up into a sandwich assembly by
DPA and is converted into a final part
in a short-cycle compression moulding
process.
DPA, with their expertise in the compression moulding of thermoplastic
composites, has been very effective here.
Their conversion process is essentially
the same as that used for monolithic
materials, but the lightweight sandwich
components, including the thin skins,
can be pre-heated and moulded in a
shorter time because of the lower mass.
This not only minimizes the time of
the production cycle, but also saves
energy, which at the end of the day also
contributes to cost savings.
The compression moulding equipment
required for the conversion of thermoplastic honeycomb panels does not
have to be sophisticated. Such products
can be made anywhere in the world
and with a limited investment, which
is typically lower than that related to
the conventional equipment for PU
composite processing.
Indeed, the cycle time of our process
is not longer than 50 seconds. With re-

Improved mechanical
performance and sustainability
However, the innovative technology
that involves having the PP honeycomb
in-between the glass fibre/PP composite skins makes it possible to profile
the honeycomb into a "V" section by
shaping the preheated thermoplastic
core into a living hinge. Consequently,
the entire Creta part is made from a
single sheet of a sandwich preform
and there is no need for any secondary
operations. Furthermore, the edges
of the part are also shaped and nicely
finished within the same forming cycle,
with the decorative carpets added onto
the surface in the same way. In addition
to saving costs, this process reduces the
part's weight by 20%.
With the weight of the trunk floor at
3 kg, we are more than 20% lighter
than the original component based on
polyurethane technology. In fact, due
to the optimisation programme that
we are running for the next-generation
part, we are further reducing the weight
by incorporating even lighter GMT
composite skins.
There are automotive parts based on
paper honeycomb and GMT composite
skins already on the market, but he has
reservations. The skin core bonding
quality is often very poor, and the
sandwich panels are prone to debonding upon higher levels of loading,
especially after humidity has affected
the paper core over time. In terms of
overall mechanical performance and

Feature Automotive

With regards to recyclability, the process uses a thermoplastic honeycomb
core and thermoplastic skin layers that
on their own can be based on partly
or even fully-recycled materials. At
the end-of-life, the product, and the
thermoplastic finishing carpets that
automotive parts require for decorations, are recyclable. Upon moulding
and integration of the carpets into
the sandwich structure, they are not
contaminated by other materials such
as polyurethanes, so at the end of the
product's life, they can be broken down
and fully recycled.
The same is true when polyester
carpets are applied onto the polypropylene-based sandwich panel but there
is also the option to work with polypropylene carpets, making the entire assembly mono-material built and hence
recyclable without the need for any
mechanical separation of components.

gards to the Hyundai Creta part, there
is yet another important aspect that
should be considered. This trunk floor
design is functional - it is essentially
made of two foldable sections - to allow
the car user to open additional storage
space in the trunk compartment. The
original part design, based on the paper
honeycomb and polyurethane composite, was made in two separate sections.
After moulding, these sections were
combined with each other, and hinging
components were added to allow for
the foldability.

/ jec composites magazine

35

N°137 November - December 2020



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020

Cover
Edito
“We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Agenda
BUSINESS
Human ressources - Skills requirements in the composite materials sector – the French example
Startup - Make lightness and performance affordable without compromising the environment
Offshore - GWEC: Asia Pacific to become the largest offshore wind market by 2030
MANUFACTURING
Additive manufacturing - The METHOD platform expands to support more materials,applications, and markets
Automation - One-shot manufacturing of cylindrical lattice structures for satellite applications
Recycling - World’s first fully-recycled thermoplastic composite application in aerospace
Additive molding - From large-scale continuous thermoplastic composites to mass production
FEATURE AUTOMOTIVE - Is it possible to do better?
FRP - Fully coupled processstructure analysis for automotive center floor panel
Honeycomb - Composite materials for lighter vehicles
Additive manufacturing - Transforming composite production processes with FDM additive manufacturing
EV - All-composite EV wheel moves to next development phase with pilot production
Security - The world’s fastest armoured car
Natural fibre - Sustainable composite solution for new Toyota LQ concept car
SOLUTIONS
Defence - Drones as wingmen
City - Composites for tomorrow’s cities
Maintenance - Degradation mechanism and maintenance of GFRP hydrochloric acid storage tanks
TECHNOLOGY
Bonding - Adhesion properties of bonded composite-to-aluminium joints using peel tests
Inside the lab - The University of Southern Queensland - Centre for Future Materials
Method - Weight and cost reduction with double-double laminates
Index
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - “We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Human ressources - Skills requirements in the composite materials sector – the French example
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 12
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Startup - Make lightness and performance affordable without compromising the environment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 16
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Offshore - GWEC: Asia Pacific to become the largest offshore wind market by 2030
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive manufacturing - The METHOD platform expands to support more materials,applications, and markets
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Automation - One-shot manufacturing of cylindrical lattice structures for satellite applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Recycling - World’s first fully-recycled thermoplastic composite application in aerospace
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive molding - From large-scale continuous thermoplastic composites to mass production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - FRP - Fully coupled processstructure analysis for automotive center floor panel
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Honeycomb - Composite materials for lighter vehicles
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Additive manufacturing - Transforming composite production processes with FDM additive manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - EV - All-composite EV wheel moves to next development phase with pilot production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Security - The world’s fastest armoured car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Natural fibre - Sustainable composite solution for new Toyota LQ concept car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Defence - Drones as wingmen
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - City - Composites for tomorrow’s cities
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Maintenance - Degradation mechanism and maintenance of GFRP hydrochloric acid storage tanks
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Bonding - Adhesion properties of bonded composite-to-aluminium joints using peel tests
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Inside the lab - The University of Southern Queensland - Centre for Future Materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Method - Weight and cost reduction with double-double laminates
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #137 - November/December 2020 - 68
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