After nearly 7 decades however aerospace has gained both in speed and altitude and continues to stretch the limits of commercially produced honeycomb core technology. A fatal indication of this occurred on April 28, 1988, the skin of an aging Aloha Airlines 737 peeled off at 24,000 feet.
The Aerospace Industry is severely burdened by the problem of delamination of honeycomb panels, leading to expensive and sometimes catastrophic failures.
- The small bonding area of honeycomb cell edges to the face sheets.
- The inability of closed cells to vent.
- Stress from varying air pressures and flexing experienced during flight.
- Cell expansion caused by water vapor freezing at high altitudes
- Lightning strikes turning trapped moisture into steam.
The benefits of Hexaflex over conventional honeycomb include:
- 1000% more bonding area:
Strengthens the bond between skins, and improves peel strength
- Ability to vent:
Eliminates pressure build-up, allows water vapor to be purged from the core and greatly reduces if not eliminates damage from lightning strikes.
- Ease of manufacture:
Sheet metal cores can be folded using progressive forming techniques.
Plastics can be injection molded or vacuum formed.
Fiber based materials can be chop sprayed.
- Freedom of design:
Hexaflex can be formed to any desired shape, including spheres, cones and tubes.
- Lap jointing:
High integrity lap jointing. “No ifs ands or Butts”.
- Flexibility It is able to conform to any variable surface curvature without any deformation of the matrix.
Hexaflex does not use glue in its manufacture, and uses less material overall.
- Optimal engineering: Because Hexaflex is made from a flat sheet it does not have any glue or double walls to add to its weight. This weight saving can be utilised to allow foam metal plugs to be inserted into the matrix. These plugs can be of a variable density so that one can tailor the panel to optimize its performance by distributing strength only to where it is required.
The introduction of Hexaflex to the aerospace industry will increase safety, flight efficiency and aircraft longevity.
- ABSORPTION PROTECTIVE STRUCTURES
Aerospace, automotive, defense, test facilities, industrial machines, marine, nuclear, rail.
Satellites, launch vehicles, space shuttle, morph technology.
Crash test barriers, door and roof panels, double-skinned exhaust manifolds, fairings, heat exchange panels, flexible fuel tank, motorcycle fairings.
Ailerons, cowlings, doors, flooring, flaps, radomes, rudders.
arterial stent technology, artificial extra-cellular matrix, capsid engineering. Hernia mesh prosthetics.
CONSTRUCTION architectural panels, concrete reinforcement in earthquake prone areas, false ceilings, flexible tubular structures, insulation curtains for hazardous material removal, roof panels, wall panel.
- MARINE bulkheads, bunks, covers, decks, double skinned hulls, hatches, wave energy framework.
- MISCELLANEOUS dirigibles, double-skinned oil tanks, flexible body armor, oil pipelines, piping / ductwork with interstitial space, radio frequency shielding, soil stabilization mat, solar energy panels, sound attenuation panels.
- RAIL Ceilings, doors, energy absorbers/bumpers, floors, partitions.
- RECREATION INDUSTRY athletic shoes, motorcycles, surfboards, snowboards, tent walls, toy, wake board.
- RESEARCH morphing wing concept, nanotechnology, robotics.