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HexWeb® Honeycomb

Attributes and Properties

A comprehensive guide to standard Hexcel honeycomb materials,


configurations, and mechanical properties .
HexWeb® Honeycomb
Attributes and Properties

Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Comparison and Benefits of Honeycomb Versus Alternative Core Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
How Honeycomb Is Manufactured . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Honeycomb Cell Configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Honeycomb Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Aluminum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Fiberglass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Aramid Fiber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Nomex® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Kevlar® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Special Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Acousti-Cap® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Mechanical Properties and Test Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Density and Thickness Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Compressive Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Crush Strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
L and W Shear Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Additional Mechanical Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Classification of Mechanical Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Correlation of Shear Strength Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Effect of Core Thickness on Plate Shear Strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Correlation of Flexural Shear Strength Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Additional Properties of Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Acoustical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Air/Fluid Directionalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Pressure Drop Across Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Bending of Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Moisture Absorption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Dielectric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Energy Absorption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Radio Frequency Shielding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Thermal Conductivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Comparison of Typical Mechanical Properties and Other Design Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Specifying Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Guide to Determining Which Type of Honeycomb to Specify . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Most Important Attributes of Each Honeycomb Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Mechanical Property Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
HexWeb® CR III 5052 Hexagonal Aluminum Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
HexWeb® CR III 5056 Hexagonal Aluminum Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
HexWeb® CR-PAA Honeycomb Mechanical Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
HexWeb® Aluminum Flex-Core Mechanical Properties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
HexWeb® Rigicell™ Corrosion Resistant Aluminum Corrugated Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
HexWeb® HRH-10® Aramid Fiber/Phenolic Resin Honeycomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
HexWeb® HRH-310 Aramid Fiber/Polyimide Resin Honeycomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
HexWeb® HRH-36 Para-Aramid/Phenolic Core . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
HexWeb® HRH-49® Honeycomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
HexWeb® HRP Glass Flex-Core® Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
HexWeb® HDC Heavy Density Core . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
HexWeb® Fibertruss® HFT® Fiberglass/Phenolic Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
HexWeb® HRH-327 Fiberglass Reinforced Polyimide Honeycomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
HexWeb® HRP and HTP Fiberglass/Phenolic Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
HexWeb® HRH-10 Nonmetallic Flex-Core® Honeycomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Hexcel Honeycomb Technical Literature Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

2
Introduction

Honeycomb is a lightweight core material for structural Hexcel has produced more than 700 varieties of
stiffening applications. This versatile material is widely honeycomb over the past 60 years.Today, HexWeb®
used in the construction of aircraft components such honeycomb is available in a wide range of materials
as floors, interior paneling and helicopter rotor blade and cell configurations, and additional products are
aerofoils. Other applications include railway carriage continually developed in response to new uses for
doors and ceiling panels, marine bulkheads and honeycomb sandwich construction.
furniture. Honeycomb is also the ideal material for
energy absorption (bumpers/fenders, lift shaft bases), This brochure lists the materials, configurations,
for RF shielding and fluid and light directionalization. and mechanical properties of Hexcel’s standard
honeycomb as a guide to selecting honeycomb core
best suited for particular applications.

Applications

The major usage of honeycomb Other aerospace vehicles that use Marine
is for structural applications. honeycomb include: ¥¥Commercial vessel and naval
Honeycomb’s beneficial strength- ¥¥Helicopters
vessel bulkheads
to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ¥¥Satellites ¥¥America’s Cup sailing yachts
ratios (see diagram on bottom ¥¥Missiles ¥¥Wall, ceiling, and partition
of page 4) compared to other
¥¥Space Shuttle
materials and configurations are panels
¥¥Satellite Launch Vehicles
unmatched.
Other applications for honeycomb
Honeycomb’s long-standing After aircraft and other airborne that are not transportation related
traditional application is in aircraft. aerospace vehicles, the next most include:
Some of the aircraft parts that are prominent uses for honeycomb ¥¥Clean room panels
made from honeycomb include: occur in various land and water
¥¥Exterior architectural curtain wall
¥¥Ailerons transportation vehicles.The
different types of vehicles and most panels
¥¥Elevators
common applications are: ¥¥Air, water, fluid, and light direc-
¥¥Flaps
tionalization
¥¥Nacelles Automobiles ¥¥Heating, ventilation, air condi-
¥¥Slats ¥¥Energy absorption protective
tioning (HVAC) equipment and
¥¥Struts structures in Formula 1 race
devices
¥¥Trailing Edges cars ¥¥Skis and snowboards
¥¥Cowls ¥¥Air directionalization for engine
¥¥Energy absorption protective
¥¥Empennages fuel injection system
structures
¥¥Flooring ¥¥Energy absorption in pillars and
¥¥Electronic shielding enclosures
¥¥Radomes along roof line for passenger ¥¥Acoustic attenuation
¥¥Spoilers protection
¥¥Tabs ¥¥Crash testing barriers

¥¥Doors

¥¥Fairings Rail
¥¥Leading Edges ¥¥Doors

¥¥Rudders ¥¥Floors

¥¥Stabilizers ¥¥Energy absorbers/bumpers

¥¥Thrust Reversers ¥¥Ceilings

¥¥Partitions

3
Comparison and Benefits of Honeycomb
Versus Alternative Core Materials

Solid Metal Sheet Sandwich Construction Thicker Sandwich

t 2t 4t

700 3700
Relative Stiffness 100 7 times more rigid 37 times more rigid!
350 925
Relative Strength 100 3.5 times as strong 9.25 times as strong!
103 106
Relative Weight 100 3% increase in weight 6% increase in weight
A striking example of how honeycomb stiffens a structure without materially increasing its weight.

Materials other than honeycomb are used as core materials. These are primarily foams and wood-based
products. The advantages of honeycomb compared to these alternative core materials are as follows.

Material Property Honeycomb Advantages


Foam includes
• polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Relatively low crush strength and stiffness Excellent crush strength and stiffness
• polymethacrylimide Increasing stress with increasing strain Constant crush strength
• polyurethane Friable Structural integrity
• polystyrene Limited strength Exceptionally high strengths available
• phenolic Fatigue High fatigue resistance
• polyethersulfone (PES) Cannot be formed around curvatures OX-Core and Flex-Core cell configurations for
curvatures
Wood-based includes
• plywood Very heavy density Excellent strength-to-weight ratio
• balsa Subject to moisture degradation Excellent moisture resistance
• particleboard Flammable Self-extinguishing, low smoke versions available

Sub-Panel Structure Comparison


The comparison at the right shows the relative strength and weight attributes of the most common types of
sandwich panels.

Relative Relative Relative


Strength Stiffness Weight
Honeycomb 100% 100% 3%
Foam Sandwich 26% 68%
Structural Extrusion 62% 99%
Sheet & Stringer 64% 86%
Plywood 3% 17% 100%

4
How Honeycomb Is Manufactured

Honeycomb is made primarily by the expansion method. The corrugated


process is most common for high density honeycomb materials.

Expansion Process Roll


The honeycomb fabrication Web
process by the expansion method
begins with the stacking of sheets
of the substrate material on which
Sheet HOBE Block HOBE Slice
adhesive node lines have been
printed. The adhesive lines are Adhesive
then cured to form a HOBE® Expanded Sheet
(Honeycomb Before Expansion)
block.

The HOBE block itself may be


expanded after curing to give an appropriate T dimension and The expanded sheets are trimmed
expanded block. Slices of the subsequently expanded. Slices can to the desired L dimension (ribbon
expanded block may then be be expanded to regular hexagons, direction) and W dimension
cut to the desired T dimension. underexpanded to 6-sided (transverse to the ribbon).
Alternately, HOBE slices can be diamonds and overexpanded to
cut from the HOBE block to the nearly rectangular cells.

Corrugated Sheet Corrugated Block Corrugated Process


L L The corrugated process of
Web T
honeycomb manufacture is
normally used to produce products
W in the higher density range. In this
T process adhesive is applied to the
Roll Corrugated Rolls
corrugated nodes, the corrugated
1
W sheets are stacked into blocks, the
node adhesive cured, and sheets
L
are cut from these blocks to the
Corrugated Sheet
required core thickness.

5
Honeycomb Cell Configurations

Hexagonal Core
The standard hexagonal
honeycomb is the basic and most
common cellular honeycomb
configuration, and is currently
available in metallic and
nonmetallic materials.

T
W
direction

L
direction

Reinforced Hexagonal Core


Reinforced honeycomb has a sheet
of substrate material placed along
the nodes in the ribbon direction to
increase the mechanical properties.

T
W
direction

L
direction

OX-Core™
The OX configuration is a
hexagonal honeycomb that
has been overexpanded in
the W direction, providing a
rectangular cell configuration that
facilitates curving or forming in
the L direction. The OX process
increases W shear properties and
decreases L shear properties
when compared to hexagonal
honeycomb.

T
W
direction

L
6 direction
Flex-Core®
The Flex-Core cell configuration
provides for exceptional formability in
compound curvatures with reduced
anticlastic curvature and without
buckling the cell walls. Curvatures
of very tight radii are easily formed.
When formed into tight radii, Flex-
Core provides higher shear strengths
than comparable hexagonal core
of equivalent density. Flex-Core
is manufactured from aluminum,
aramid papers and fiberglass
substrates.

L
direction

Double-Flex™
Double-Flex is a unique large cell
Flex-Core for excellent formability
and high specific compression
properties. Double-Flex™ formability
is similar to standard Flex-Core®.

W
direction

L
direction

Other Configurations
Hexcel can design and fabricate special cell geometries in response to specific needs.
Vented options are also available.

7
Honeycomb Materials

Alumninum Honeycomb

CR III
CR III corrosion-resistant coating consists of a
chromate- based protective layer and an organo-
metallic polymer. CR III corrosion-resistant coating has
been specified by the U.S. military for almost 50 years.

CR-PAA™
CR-PAA phosphoric acid anodized coating provides
superior performance in certain instances. CR-PAA is
superior with regards to:
¥¥bond strength to aluminum facings in sandwich

panel applications
¥¥salt spray environments

¥¥resistance to crack propagation

Hexcel aluminum honeycombs are designated as ¥¥hot/wet environments


follows: Aluminum honeycomb is available in four different
alloys, aerospace grades 5052 and 5056.
Material – Cell Size – Alloy – Foil Thickness – Density
Example: CR III – 1/4 – 5052 – .002N – 4.3 5052 Alloy
Specification grade honeycomb in the 5052 H39
Where:
aluminum alloy is for general purpose applications
CR III® – signifies the honeycomb is treated with a
and is available in a wide range of cell size/density
corrosion-resistant coating
combinations in the hexagonal and Flex-Core
1/4 – is the cell size in fractions of an inch configurations.
5052 – is the aluminum alloy used
5056 Alloy
.002 – is the nominal reference foil thickness in inches
Specification grade honeycomb in the 5056 H39
N –indicates the cell walls are nonperforated (P aluminum alloy offers superior strength over 5052 alloy
indicates perforated) honeycomb. It is also available in a broad range of cell
4.3 – is the density in pounds per cubic foot size/density combinations in the hexagonal and Flex-
Core configurations.The strength properties of 5056
Corrosion-Resistant Coatings alloy honeycomb are approximately 20% greater that
Corrosion-resistant coatings consist of a base layer the comparable properties of 5052 alloy honeycomb
underlying a primer layer. Aluminum honeycomb is of similar cell size, foil gauge, and density.
available with two different corrosion-resistant coating
options.These are CR III chromate-based and CR-
PAA™ phosphoric acid anodized.

8
Fiberglass Reinforced Honeycomb

in the standard hexagonal configuration, as well as in


the two formable configurations—OX-Core™ and Flex-
Core®.

HFT®
HFT is a fiberglass fabric reinforced honeycomb that
incorporates a ±45° Fibertruss® bias weave dipped
in a heat-resistant phenolic resin to achieve the final
density.This material is recommended for use at
service temperatures up to 350°F but is well suited
for short exposures at higher temperatures. The
Fibertruss configuration greatly enhances the shear
properties. HFT has a much higher shear modulus
than HRP or HRH®-10.

Hexcel fiberglass reinforced honeycombs are HRH®-327


designated as follows: HRH-327 is a fiberglass fabric, polyimide node
adhesive, bias weave reinforced honeycomb dipped
Material – Cell Size – Density in a polyimide resin to achieve the final density.This
Example: HRP – 3/16 – 4.0 material has been developed for extended service
Where: temperatures up to 500°F with short range capabilities
HRP® – refers to the type of material up to 700°F.
3/16 – is the cell size in fractions of an inch HDC-F
4.0 – is the nominal density in pounds per cubic foot HDC is a fabric reinforced honeycomb, made from
fiberglass prepreg. A thermosetting node adhesive is
HRP / HTP used with either a thermoplastic or thermoset resin for
HRP is a fiberglass fabric reinforced honeycomb the web impregnations. The product was developed
dipped in a heat-resistant phenolic resin to achieve for use in the temperatures up to to 500 F. Depending
the final density. HTP honeycomb is better for forming on the constituent resin system, the product may be
than HRP honeycomb. This product was developed suitable for short exposures at higher temperatures.
for use at service temperatures up to 350°F. However,
it is also well suited for short exposures at higher
temperatures. The HRP-series honeycomb is available

9
Honeycomb Materials

Aramid Fiber Reinforced Honeycomb

HRH®-10
This product consists of Dupont® Nomex® aramid-
fiber paper dipped in a heat-resistant phenolic resin
to achieve the final density. It features high strength
and toughness in a small cell size, low density
nonmetallic core. It is available in hexagonal, OX-Core,
and Flex-Core configurations. It is fire-resistant and
recommended for service up to 350°F.

HRH®-310
HRH-310 is made from the same aramid-fiber paper
described above, except dipped in a polyimide resin to
achieve the final density.It is available in Hexagonal cell
configuration. Outstanding features are its relatively
Hexcel aramid-fiber reinforced honeycomb is low dielectric and loss tangent properties.
designated as follows: HRH®-49
Material – Cell Size – Density HRH-49 is made from Kevlar® 49 fabric impregnated
Example: HRH-10 – 3/16 – 3.0 with an epoxy resin. Significant advantages of HRH-
49 honeycomb are its excellent thermal stability and
Where: relatively low coefficient of thermal expansion.
HRH-10 – refers to the type of material
HRH®-36
3/16 – is the cell size in fractions of an inch HexWeb® HRH-36 is a very high performance
3.0 – is the nominal density in pounds per cubic foot honeycomb, constructed from DuPont’s Kevlar®
paper and reinforced with a high temperature resistant
Hexcel manufactures aramid-fiber reinforced
phenolic resin. Providing strength and retention at up
honeycomb from two types two types (Nomex® and
to 350°F/175°C, and with very high shear strength.
Kevlar®) of para-aramid substrates. These para-aramid
substrates are Nomex® (HRH-10, HRH-310),Kevlar®
(HRH-49), and HRH-36.

10
Special Honeycomb

Acousti-Cap®
Hexcel’s HexWeb® Acousti-Cap® noise reducing
honeycomb, has enabled aircraft engine designers to
achieve superior acoustical performance, including
dramatic noise reduction during takeoff and landing
without a structural weight penalty. This marks an
improvement on current technology which requires
tradeoffs between weight and noise reduction.

This advanced honeycomb material consists of a


permeable cap material embedded into a honeycomb
core to create an acoustic septum. Rather than
sandwiching this acoustic septum between separate
sheets of honeycomb, Acousti-Cap® honeycomb
is created by inserting a permeable cap into each
individual cell of a single honeycomb sheet. This
enables designers to keep the panel structure
simple and consistent from an acoustic absorption
perspective.

11
Mechanical Properties
and Test Methods

The test methods used for the honeycomb properties listed in this brochure are based on MIL-STD-401
and the applicable ASTM Standards.The properties and the test methods employed are outlined below.
Unless specifically stated, the test properties listed have been performed at room temperature.

Density and Thickness Measurements The bare compressive strength is the ultimate
The density of honeycomb is expressed in pounds compressive strength of the core in pounds per
per cubic foot. Hexcel certifies that aerospace grade square inch when loaded in the T direction without
core will not vary in density by more than ±10% stabilization of the cell edges. The value is normally
from list nominal values. The density tolerance for used for an acceptance criteria since this test is easier
commercial grade aluminum core is ±17%.The density and faster to perform.
of production honeycomb is normally measured on
full-size expanded sheets.
Test Methods
Physical dimensions and weight measurements are The standard specimen Compressive Test
taken to within 0.5%.The thickness is measured to the size for bare and stabilized
nearest 0.001 inch (0.0254mm) in accordance with compressive tests is 3” L x
ASTM C366, Method B. 3” W x 0.625”T (76.2mm x
76.2mm x 15.875mm) 3” L
Compressive Properties x 3” W x 0.500”T (76.2mm
The stabilized compressive strength (also called x 76.2mm x 12.7mm) for
flatwise compressive strength) represents the ultimate nonmetallic cores. For cell sizes
compressive strength of the honeycomb in pounds 1/2 inch or larger, a 4” L x 4”
per square inch when loaded in the T direction. W (101.6mm x 101.6mm) or
Normally for this test, facings are adhesively bonded to even a 6” L x 6” W (152.4mm
the honeycomb material (stabilized compressive). x 152.4mm) specimen size
is used to reduce the error
The stabilized compressive modulus, also expressed
developed by edge effect on
in pounds per square inch, is determined from the
small samples. Stabilized compressive specimens are
slope of the initial straight-line portion of the stress-
normally prepared by bonding 0.032” AL (0.8128mm)
strain curve. Some honeycomb materials exhibit
5052 thick facings to each side.
a linear initial stress-strain relationship, while other
honeycomb materials exhibit a nonlinear curved initial Both bare and stabilized compressive tests are
stress-strain relationship. conducted with self-aligning loading heads. Unless
otherwise specified, the loading rate used produces a
General Honeycomb Initioal Compressive Stress-Strain Curves failure in three to six minutes. Deflection recordings are
made with a displacement transducer that measures
the relative movement of the loading and bearing
Carbon Aluminum Compressive surfaces through the center of the specimen.
Strength
Stress

Nomex

Strain

12
Crush Strength L and W Shear Properties
After honeycomb has exceeded its ultimate The shear strength of honeycomb as presented in this
compressive strength, it will continue to deform brochure refers to the ultimate stress in pounds per
plastically and crush uniformly. The load-deflection square inch when a shear load is applied parallel to
curve shows such a typical response. The average the L–W plane.The shear modulus is the slope of the
crush load per unit cross-sectional area is defined initial straight-line portion of the stress-strain curve.The
as the crush strength,expressed in pounds per values so obtained are dependent upon the orientation
square inch. Honeycomb will crush at virtually of the applied loading with respect to the L and W
a constant stress level (dependent on the core dimensions, being highest in the L direction and
material and density), hence its absorption capacity lowest in the W direction for hexagonal honeycomb.
is predictable,making it ideal for energy absorption
applications. When used in this manner, the core is Test Methods
often precrushed slightly to remove the compressive Plate Shear Test Method
peak in the load-deflection curve. The crush strength The shear strength and modulus values presented in
of honeycomb decreases with increasing angle this brochure were obtained using the compressive
loading from the thickness. and/or tensile plate shear method. The specimen
Typical Load-Deflection Curve size for aluminum honeycomb is normally 7.5” x
2” x 0.625” T (190.5mm x 50.8mm x 15.875mm).
Nonmetallic honeycombs test sample size is 6” x 2”
Bare Compressive Strength 0.500”T (152.4mm x 50.8mm x 12.7mm).
Tensile Plate Shear
Thicknesses conform to MIL-C-7438
and MIL-C-8073, respectively. The
Load

Crush Strength
specimens are bonded to steel loading
plates and then tested as shown. The
loading rate used produces a failure in
three to six minutes. Shear deflections
are measured with a displacement
transducer that senses the relative
movement of the two plates. Since
Test Methods some nonmetallic materials will not
Fixed loading and bearing plates are used for crush always have a truly linear stress-
strength tests and a deflectometer is employed strain curve (particularly at elevated
to measure the travel of the crosshead of the test temperatures), the shear modulus is
machine. In order to obtain a meaningful crush load- normally calculated from the slope of
deflection curve, a minimum core thickness of 0.625 the initial straight-line portion of the
inches (15.875mm) should be used. load-deflection curve.
It should be noted that the crush strength values Honeycomb with densities of 8.0
presented in this brochure are typical static test pcf (128.1477kg3) and higher are
results. It has been found that under dynamic loading,
sometimes difficult to fail in shear by the
these values increase nonlinearly with impact velocity,
plate shear method because of the high
and numbers as much as 30% higher have been
shear loads introduced to the adhesive
reported.
bond between the core and the steel
plates. In some cases, shear data from
beam-flexure testing will be more applicable. This is
true for thicker and also heavier density cores.

13
Mechanical Properties
and Test Methods
Beam-Flexure Test Method Additional Mechanical Properties
Although the plate shear method is preferred for Numerous tests on both core materials and bonded
obtaining actual honeycomb shear strength and sandwich panels have been run by Hexcel laboratory
modulus results, the beam-flexure test is often used personnel for qualification to military specifications, or
to evaluate overall sandwich panel performance. for internal R&D purposes.
Experience indicates that since these values are very
much dependent on the facing thickness, facing Classification of
material, and loading conditions, the calculated Mechanical Properties
honeycomb properties may vary considerably from Hexcel classifies its mechanical
one test series to the next. Many types of beam- properties data into three
flexure tests have been used. The two most common categories dependent upon
techniques are shown schematically below. the extent of the testing being
reported. These classifications
The specimen size is 8” x 3” (203.2mm x 76.2mm). are as follows:
The span between supports is 6” (152.4mm) and
either one or two point loading can be used. The 1. Preliminary – Data
distance between the load pads for two point loading resulting from a very limited
is normally 1/3 the span. For additional details refer to amount of testing are
MIL-C-7438 and ASTM C393. indicative of the properties
expected, but do not
Again, it should be stressed that the resulting beam- necessarily represent the
flexure data should only be considered a test of the mean values of a normal
facings, adhesives, and core acting as a composite scatter of test data.
sandwich structure. Core shear values obtained by Generally, preliminary values
flexure tests are often higher than those obtained from are obtained from testing
plate shear tests (see page 14 for correlation factors one or two blocks of a Sample bonded to
honeycomb type. Numbers aluminum blocks
followed by the letter P
indicate preliminary data.

2. Typical – Data
representing extensive
testing of many blocks of
a particular honeycomb
material. A typical value
is the mean average of a
relatively large number of
test values.

Beam-Flexure 3. Minimum – Hexcel


guarantees the minimum
between plate shear and beam-flexure data). Report of failed core
average/individual properties on area basis
Flatwise Tensile listed on standard honeycomb
Flatwise tensile is used to measure bond strength types. Predicted values based
of adhesives and/or the tensile strength of the upon Hexcel’s educated best
honeycomb core. Most structural adhesives will guess are provided in the
be stronger than aluminum core up to about 6pcf mechanical property tables for core types when
(96.11078kg3). This test is most useful in determining data do not exist.
skin preparation, bonding conditions, and prepreg
adhesions. See MIL-STD-401 and ASTM C297.

14
Correlation of Shear Strength Data

Effect of Core Thickness on Plate Shear Strength a substantial fraction of the thickness and possibly the
Honeycomb shear strength will vary with core entire cell wall may be filleted. Such a phenomenon
thickness. would affect the “apparent” core shear strength
considerably. Also, since the filleting depth depends
Referring to the tensile plate shear shown on page 11, on the adhesive used, test results on thin cores vary
it can be shown that the shear load induces a minor from one adhesive to another.
component parallel to the cell axis that stretches the
honeycomb. The honeycomb, therefore, is not being For the above reasons and in view of typical core
subjected to pure shear but to a combination of shear thickness values in actual usage, as well as several
and tension. Thicker cores will have a lower usable aircraft company and military specifications, aluminum
shear strength than thinner ones. honeycomb is generally tested at 0.625” (15.875mm)
T while nonmetallic honeycomb is tested at 0.500”
In view of the above, one might conclude that a plot (12.7mm) T. However, Hexcel is often asked to qualify
of usable shear strength vs. core thickness would core materials to other thickness values. The graph
show the “true” core shear strength approached below, generated from actual Hexcel data, gives
asymptotically with vanishing core thickness. However, correction factors for both aluminum and nonmetallic
for very thin cores the filleting of the core-to-skin honeycomb for values other than 0.625” (15.875mm)
adhesives has a strengthening effect on the shear T and 0.500” (12.7mm) T respectively. The graph
data. Normally, the filleting depth is but a fraction of shows average correction factors.
the core thickness, but for very thin cores this depth is

Correction Factors

1.2

1.1

1.0
Correction Factor – K

No Alum
.9 nm
eta inum
llic
.8

.7

.6

.5

.4

.3

0 .5 ” 1.0” 1.5” 2.0” 2.5” 3.0 ” 3.5 ” 4.0”


(12.7mm) (25.4mm) (38.1mm) (50.8mm) (63.5mm) (76.2mm) (88.9mm) (101.6mm)

Core Thickness

15
Correlation of Flexural
Shear Strength Data
As previously indicated, the plate shear test method after the core has yielded. Several specifications,
is regarded as the most desirable way of obtaining such as MIL-C-7438, still call for beam-flexure tests
actual honeycomb shear properties. The results for heavy density cores. We have therefore provided
from the beam-flexure method have been found to the graph below, which shows the results of beam-
be influenced by several parameters, such as facing flexures on 5052 aluminum honeycomb when tested
thickness, facing material, core thickness, and loading per the military specifications, and compares the L and
conditions. The facing thickness alone will cause W curves to the plate shear data for the same core
large variations because the skins are able to carry type. It should be noted that the military specification
shear loads in addition to what the core carries and, calls for facing thicknesses that are different for L and
furthermore, are able to take on additional shear loads W tests at a given density.

5052 Shear Strength Comparison


Plate Shear vs. Beam-Flexures
Typical Values

Beam-Flexures per AMS C 7438 with facing thickness as specified

1000
(1.0)

re
xu
le
-F

ar
m

e
ea

750 Sh
”B
Shear Strength – PSI (KSI)

(.75) e
at
“L

Pl

“L re
e xu
- Fl
a m
500 Be ar
(.50) ”
S he
“W te
la
”P
“W

250
(.25)

0
0 2 4 6 8 10
(32) (64) (95) (128) (192)

Core Density – PCF (Kg3)

16
Additional Properties of Honeycomb

Acoustical Pressure Drop Across Honeycomb


Honeycomb,to which a perforated facing skin has The pressure drop across honeycomb placed in a
been applied, is often used for sound attenuation fluid stream has been found to be extremely small
applications. compared with alternate devices such as wire screens
and perforated metal panels. The large open frontal
Hexcel’s Acousti-Core honeycomb is filled with area of honeycomb is the dominant reason for this.
fiberglass batting. Available in many of the standard All honeycomb types considered for air directional
core types of 3/16” (4.7625mm) and larger cell size, applications have 95–99% open area. The major
this honeycomb with porous or perforated facings can flow resistance is related to friction drag on the cell
be used for lightweight sound absorption panels that walls. As would be expected, smaller cell sizes and
have considerable structural integrity. thicker honeycomb cores have higher pressure
drops. The cell wall foil gauge has a negligible effect
The noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of Acousti-Core
on the pressure drop. The figure at right shows the
is shown on the graph to the left. The NRC value is
pressure drop measured across three aluminum
the average of sound absorption coefficients at 250,
honeycomb types at 1-, 2-, and 4-inch thickness.
500,1000,and 2000 cycles per second. The higher the
These measurements were made in a straight 18-inch
NRC value, the more efficient the absorber.
diameter duct.
Pressure Drop Across
Noise Reduction Coefficient Aluminum Honeycomb
80
1.0

0.8
0.8

0.6
0.6
1/8"CELL
NRC

0.5

0.4 0.4
T
4"

0.3
0.2
T
2"
Static Pressure Drop – Inches of Water

0
0 1” 2” 3” 0.2
(25.4mm) (50.8mm) (76.2mm)
T
1"

Sandwich Thickness 0.15 3/8" CELL


T
4"

0.10
Air/Fluid Directionalization
T

Over the years, honeycomb has been used very 0.08


2"

successfully for directionalizing air,water, and fluid 3/4" CELL


T

0.06
1"

flow in a wide variety of ducts and channels. The


0.05
open, straight honeycomb cells are an efficient
means of controlling the flow of air with a minimum 0.04
pressure drop. Laminar flow can typically be attained
T
2"

by using a honeycomb thickness to cell size ratio 0.03

of 6–8 for most flow rates. Aluminum honeycomb


T
1"

with CR III corrosion-resistant coating is used for air 0.02


directionalization applications.
0.015

0.01
1000 2000 3000 5000 7000 10000

Air Flow — cfm


18" diameter duct

17
Additional Properties of Honeycomb

Bending of Honeycomb
When hexagonal honeycomb is
bent, it exhibits a phenomenon
where the honeycomb is forcibly
curved around one axis and
the core reacts by bending in a
reversed curvature along an axis
oriented 90°.This phenomenon
is called anticlastic curvature.
This is a normal, unavoidable
phenomenon and is to be
expected

Poisson’s ratio μ is the ratio


of the lateral strain to the axial
strain when the resulting strains
are caused by a uniaxial stress.
Poisson’s ratios for different
types of honeycomb have been
determined to vary between 0.1
and 0.5. As would be expected,
Poisson’s ratio for Flex-Core
cell configuration is less than
Poisson’s ratio for hexagonal cell Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
Honeycomb Core
configuration. (inch/inch – ºF)
CR III, CR-PAA, 5052, 5056 13.2 x 10–6
Coefficient of Thermal
Expansion HRP, HFT, HRH-327 Fiberglass 8.2 x 10–6
Honeycomb will change its HRH-10, HRH-310 19.4 x 10–6
dimensions slightly when subject HRH-49 Kevlar 2.7 x 10–6
to a change in temperature. The
change in dimensions as a function
of temperature is determined by Moisture Absorption Radio Frequency Shielding
the substrate material. Coefficients Samples of HFT, HRP, and HRH- Aluminum honeycomb has been
of thermal expansion in the 10 were exposed to 95% relative used for RF shielding because the
thickness direction for various humidity at 120°F for 120 hours cellular structure can be compared
honeycomb materials are as to determine the moisture pickup. to a myriad of wave guides. When
follows: The following percent moisture properly designed as to cell size
pickups were measured. and cell depth, honeycomb will
¥¥HRP – 3/16 – 4.0 1.7% attenuate a required Db level
¥¥HFT – 1/8 – 4.0 1.3% through a wide frequency range.
¥¥HFT – 3/16 – 4.0 1.6%

¥¥HRH-10 – 3/16 – 4.0 4.4%

¥¥HRH-36– 3/16 – 4.5 3.4%

18
Dielectric Dielectric Constant at 0° Incidence Angle
Nonmetallic honeycomb is used 1.20
extensively in radomes, both Parallel Polarization
airborne and stationary, because Perpendicular Polarization

of its very low dielectric constant 1.16


and loss tangent. Thus nonmetallic 10 P
H- HR 327
honeycomb allows the wave HR H-
HR
energy to be transmitted with
Dielectric Constant

1.12
only negligible reflection and
10
absorption. The figure below HR
H-
P
HR -32
7
shows the dielectric constant as a 1.08 HRH
function of core density for several
honeycomb types. The values were
obtained for both polarizations
1.04
and with the electric field vector
E perpendicular and parallel to
the ribbon direction. Testing was 1.00
conducted at 9375 Megahertz. 0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0
Honeycomb Density – PCF
In addition to the electric field
polarization, the dielectric constant
is a function of the incidence
angle and the thickness of the Aluminum Honeycomb Crush Curve
honeycomb.

Energy Absorption
As mentioned under the Crush
Peak load
Strength property description
(page 10), honeycomb loaded
axially beyond its ultimate
compressive peak will absorb
energy at constant stress. The
figure below shows the crush
curve of aluminum honeycomb.
Hexagonal honeycomb used in this
manner can be designed to crush
Load – lb

Stroke is about 70% of initial height


uniformly at a predetermined level,
thereby providing a highly reliable Peak load eliminated by pre-crushing
absorber at low weight.

Aluminum honeycomb absorbs Average crush load

energy by crushing under load.

Area under curve is measure of energy absorbed

Displacement – in
19
Additional Properties of Honeycomb

Thermal Conductivity Thermal Conductivity of Aluminum Honeycomb


Thermal conductivity through Units
sandwich panels can be isolated
Density (lb/ft3) 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0
into the contribution of each
component: facings, core, and Thermal conductivity (k) (BTU-in)/(hr-ft -ºF) 27 38 61 103
adhesive. The resistances
(R = t–k or reciprocal of Thermal Conductivity – Nonmetallic Honeycomb
conductivity) can simply be
0.9
added—including the effect
of boundary layer conditions. 0.8

The thermal properties of


(BTU – in.)/(HR – sq.ft. – ºF)

0.7
typical facing materials may be Acousti-Core
Thermal Conductivity

1/8"
found in handbooks. Thermal 0.6
3/16"
resistance values for typical 0.5
1/4"
core-to-facing adhesives are 3/8"
3/4"
0.03 for film adhesives with a 0.4

scrim cloth support and 0.01 0.3


for unsupported adhesives. The
thermal conductivity of aluminum 0.2

and nonmetallic honeycomb at 0.1


a mean temperature of 75°F is
0
shown below. For nonmetallic 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
honeycomb, cell size is much more Honeycomb Thickness – In
important than core density. For
aluminum honeycomb, density Effect of Mean Temperature on Thermal Conductivity
is the variable that determines kT = k(75ºF)*Q
the thermal conductivity. 2

The thermal conductivity of 1.8

aluminum honeycomb is nearly 1.6


independent of the core thickness, Nonmetallic honeycomb
1.4
for thicknesses between Metallic honeycomb

0.375–4.0”.To adjust for mean 1.2


Coefficient Q

temperature,multiply the thermal 1

conductivity at 75°F by Q using the 0.8

bottom figure. Thermal conductivity 0.6


of honeycomb may be decreased
0.4
by filling the cells with insulating
materials.) 0.2

–200 –150 –100 –50 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400

Mean Temperature – °F

20
Comparison of Typical Mechanical
Properties and Other Design Considerations
The curves on the following pages compare the typical properties. Many other factors have to be
mechanical properties of several honeycomb types. considered.A few of these considerations and the
They are intended to show relative strength and shear relative ratings of several honey- comb materials are
moduli at ambient temperature. Included also are two presented in the table below. In overall economics
graphs showing the effect of elevated temperatures on or value analysis, one should also keep in mind such
honeycomb strength after 30 minutes and 100 hours factors as tooling requirements, shop losses, previous
of exposure. experience, and, of course, the optimization of
structural properties at minimum weight for the overall
The selection of a particular honeycomb type is, structure. Hexcel can assist with honeycomb material
of course, not only dependent on the mechanical selection and trade-off analysis.

5052 5052
Attributes 5056 5056 HRP HFT HRH-327 HRH-10 HRH-36
CR III
CR III CR-PAA

Relative Cost Mod Low Med Very Low Mod High High Very High Med High
Maximum Long-Term
350°F 350°F 350°F 350°F 350°F 500°F 350°F 350°F
Temperature
Flammability Resistance E E E E E E E E
Impact Resistance G G G F G F E E
Moisture Resistance E E E E E E G E
Fatigue Strength G G G G G G E E
Heat Transfer High High High Low Low Low Low Low
Corrosion Resistance G E G E E E E E

E = Excellent G = Good F = Fair P = Poor Mod = Moderately Med = Medium.

21
Comparison of Typical Mechanical
Properties and Other Design Considerations
Temperature Effects

30-Minute Exposure (tested at temperature) 100-Hour Exposure (tested at temperature)


100 100

HRH-327

80 80

Percent of Room Temperature Strength


Percent of Room Temperature Strength

HFT

HRH-327
5052, 5056
60 60
HRP

HRH-10
40 40
HRP

20 20

0 100 200 300 400 500 0 100 200 300 400 500

Exposure and Test Temperature – °F Exposure and Test Temperature – °F

Typical Stabilized Compressive Strength Typical Static Crush Strength


4000 4000
Stabilized Comprressive Strength – PSI

3000 3000

d
te
FT

ga
P
,H
Crush Strength – PSI

HR

ru
10

or
-

C
RH
52
,H 50
2000 56 2000
50
52
50

7
32
H-
HR

1000 1000
d
de
an
xp
56E ed
50 nd
pa
2 Ex
505

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 0 4 8 12 16 20
Density – PCF Density – PCF

22
Typical L Shear Strength Typical L Shear Modulus
1200 250

1000
P 200
5056 HR

800

"L" Shear Modulus – KSI


5052
"L" Shear Strength – PSI

HRH-327 150
5052, 5056
600
HFT
HRH-10
100

400

HFT, HRH-327
50
200
HRP

HRH-10

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Density – PCF Density – PCF

Typical W Shear Modulus Typical W Shear Strength


100 800

80
P
600
56
50 HR

52
"W" Shear Strength – PSI

50
"W" Shear Modulus – KSI

60

HRH-327
5052, 5056 400

HFT
40
HRH-10

HFT 27 200
H-3
HR
20
HRP
HRH-10

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 0 2 4 6 8 10 12

Density – PCF Density – PCF

23
Specifying Honeycomb

Specifying Honeycomb Most Important Attributes of


When honeycomb is specified, the following Each Honeycomb Material
information needs to be provided: Each of the honeycomb materials profiled above has
¥¥Material specific benefits that are key to its specification. In
¥¥Cell configuration (hexagonal,OX-Core, Flex-
general terms, some of the most beneficial properties
of each honeycomb material are as follows:
Core, etc.)
¥¥Cell size Aluminum Honeycomb
¥¥Alloy and foil gauge (aluminum honeycomb only) ¥¥Relatively low cost

¥¥Density ¥¥Best for energy absorption

¥¥Greatest strength/weight
Cell sizes range from 1/8” to 1”,with 1/8”, 3/16”,
¥¥Thinnest cell walls
1/4”, and 3/8” being the most common. Honeycomb
densities range from 1.0 lb/ft3 to 55 lb/ft3. ¥¥Smooth cell walls

¥¥Conductive heat transfer


Guide to Determining Which Type ¥¥Electrical shielding
of Honeycomb to Specify
¥¥Machinability
Determining which type of honeycomb to specify
requires that the relevant possible attributes be defined Aramid Fiber Honeycomb
for the application. The attributes that help determine
¥¥Flammability/fire retardance
the most appropriate honeycomb type can include the
¥¥Large selection of cell sizes, densities, and
following:
¥¥Cost vs. value/performance strengths
¥¥Formability and parts-making experience
¥¥Piece size
¥¥Insulative
¥¥Density
¥¥Low dielectric properties
¥¥Strength

– Compressive Fiberglass
– Impact ¥¥Multidimensional strength of a woven structure

– Shear ¥¥Heat formability

– Fatigue ¥¥Insulative

– Flatwise tensile ¥¥Low dielectric properties


¥¥Cell wall thickness

¥¥Moisture

¥¥Color

¥¥Ultraviolet light exposure

¥¥Environmental chemicals

¥¥Processing and operating temperature range

¥¥Flammability/fire retardance

¥¥Thermal conductivity/insulation/heat transfer

¥¥Electrical conductivity

¥¥Wall surface smoothness

¥¥Abrasion resistance

¥¥Cushioning

¥¥Machinability/Formability

¥¥Facings

– Material
– Bonding process, adhesive, conditions
– Thickness
24
Mechanical Property Tables

The most commonly measured honeycomb properties and the shear strength and moduli in the LT and
are bare compressive strength, stabilized compressive WT directions. The honeycomb properties in other
strength and modulus, crush strength, and L direction secondary directions are extremely low compared
and W direction plate shear strength and moduli. to the properties provided for the primary designed
orientation of honeycomb. The L and W direction
The following tables contain the mechanical properties compressive properties are typically less than 5% of
of the various honeycomb core types for which Hexcel the compressive properties in the T direction. The
has data. It should be noted that some of the core plate shear strength is substantially less in the LW
types listed are not always readily available. plane than in either the LT or WT plane, while the plate
shear modulus in the LW plane is typically less than
Hexcel has produced additional core types not
5% of the plate shear modulus in either the LT plane or
listed, and in some cases larger or smaller cell sizes,
WT plane.
intermediate or higher densities, and special materials
can be provided. In addition to compressive strength and plate shear
properties, sometimes other honeycomb properties
For detailed information on standard or special sheet
are important for particular applications. These include
sizes, refer to the appropriate data sheets. Crush
fatigue for repeated loads, creep from constant stress
strength values presented in this brochure are to be
over a long period of time (especially at elevated
used for preliminary designs. For core densities below
temperatures or when combined with other materials),
3 pcf, these values vary as much as ±20%. For all
and flatwise tensile strength.
other densities, crush strength values vary by ±15%.
Note: See page 12 for definitions of “preliminary,”
The honeycomb properties that follow are for the
“typical,” and “minimum.”
compressive strength and modulus in the T direction,

25
HexWeb® CR III 5052 Hexagonal Aluminum Honeycomb
Typical values (typ) are presented below, as well as minimum average (min) for a product type.

Compressive Plate Shear

Nominal Bare Stabilized Crush L Direction W Direction


Cell Size Density Strength
Modulus Modulus Modulus
pcf Strength psi Strength psi psi Strength psi Strength psi
ksi ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
1/8 3.1 285 200 300 215 75 130 210 155 45.0 130 90 22.0
1/8 4.5 550 375 570 405 150 260 340 285 70.0 220 168 31.0
1/8 6.1 980 650 1020 680 240 450 560 455 98.0 340 272 41.0
1/8 8.1 1500 1000 1560 1100 350 750 800 670 135.0 470 400 54.0
1/8 10.0 2100p 1575p 2250p 1685p - - 980p 735p 175.0p 550p 415p 65.0p
1/8 12.0 2700 2100 2900 2200 900 - 1940l 1250l - 1430l 1000l -
5/32 2.6 220 150 240 160 55 90 165 120 37.0 100 70 19.0
5/32 3.8 395 285 410 300 110 185 270 215 56.0 165 125 26.4
5/32 5.3 690 490 720 535 195 340 420 370 84.0 270 215 36.0
5/32 6.9 1080 770 1130 800 285 575 590 540 114.0 375 328 46.4
5/32 8.4 1530 1070 1160 1180 370 800 760 690 140.0 475 420 56.0
3/16 2.0 160 90 175 100 34 60 120 80 27.0 70 46 13.3
3/16 3.1 290 200 335 215 75 130 210 155 45.0 125 90 22.0
3/16 4.4 520 360 550 385 145 250 330 280 68.0 215 160 30.0
3/16 5.7 820 560 860 600 220 390 460 410 90.0 300 244 38.5
3/16 6.9 1120 770 1175 800 285 575 590 540 114.0 375 328 46.4
3/16 8.1 1600 1000 1720 1100 350 750 725 670 135.0 480 400 54.0
1/4 1.6 90 60 100 70 20 40 85 60 21.0 50 32 11.0
1/4 2.3 190 120 210 130 45 75 140 100 32.0 85 57 16.2
1/4 3.4 340 240 370 250 90 150 230 180 50..0 140 105 24.0
1/4 4.3 500 350 540 370 140 230 320 265 66.0 200 155 29.8
1/4 5.2 690 500 760 510 190 335 410 360 82.0 265 200 35.4
1/4 6.0 990 630 1100 660 235 430 530 445 96.0 340 265 40.5
3/8 1.0 50 20 55 20 10 25 45 32 12.0 30 20 7.0
3/8 1.6 90 60 95 70 20 40 85 60 21.0 50 32 11.0
3/8 2.3 190 120 200 130 45 75 135 100 32.0 80 57 16.2
3/8 3.0 285 190 310 200 70 120 200 145 43.0 125 85 21.2
3/8 3.7 370 270 410 285 105 180 250 200 55.0 160 115 26.0
3/8 4.2 520 335 560 355 135 220 310 255 65.0 200 150 29.0

Test data obtained at 0.625” thickness. p = preliminary


x = predicted values
I = beam shear for 12.0 pcf products.
maximum block size 48 in. x 60 in., maximum thickness = 1.00 in.

26
HexWeb® CR III 5056 Hexagonal Aluminum Honeycomb
Typical values (typ) are presented below, as well as minimum average (min) for a product type.

Compressive Plate Shear

Nominal Bare Stabilized Crush L Direction W Direction


Cell Size Density Strength
Modulus Modulus Modulus
pcf Strength psi Strength psi psi Strength psi Strength psi
ksi ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
1/8 3.1 320 250 350 260 97 170 250 200 45.0 155 110 20.0
1/8 4.5 630 475 690 500 185 320 440 350 70.0 255 205 28.0
1/8 6.1 1120 760 1200 825 295 535 690 525 102.0 400 305 38.0
1/8 8.1 1750 1200 1900 1300 435 810 945 740 143.0 560 440 51.0
5/32 2.6 250 180 265 185 70 120 200 152 37.0 115 80 17.0
5/32 3.8 450 360 500 375 140 235 335 272 57.0 195 155 24.0
5/32 5.3 820 615 865 650 240 420 550 435 85.0 325 250 33.0
5/32 6.9 1120 920 1340 1000 350 650 760 610 118.0 430 360 43.0
3/16 2.0 190 110 200 120 45 75 140 105 27.0 85 50 13.0
3/16 3.1 380 250 410 260 97 170 265 200 45.0 150 110 20.0
3/16 4.4 620 460 670 490 180 310 425 340 68.0 245 198 27.0
3/16 5.7 920 685 1000 735 270 480 565 480 94.0 330 280 36.0
1/4 1.6 100 75 110 80 30 50 90 78 20.0 60 38 10.5
1/4 2.3 240 145 265 155 58 100 180 130 32.0 100 62 15.0
1/4 3.4 400 300 480 315 115 200 290 230 50.0 175 130 22.0
1/4 4.3 580 440 620 465 172 300 400 325 67.0 230 190 27.0
1/4 5.2 790 600 820 645 230 410 490 425 84.0 300 245 32.0
3/8 1.0 55 25 60 35 15 35 55 45 15.0 35 25 6.8
3/8 1.6 100 75 110 80 30 50 90 78 20.0 60 38 10.5
3/8 2.3 215 155 225 155 58 100 170 130 32.0 95 62 15.0
3/8 3.0 320 240 340 260 92 160 245 190 43.0 145 100 19.0

Test data obtained at 0.625 inch thickness.

27
HexWeb® CR-PAA Honeycomb Mechanical Properties
Typical values (typ) are presented below, as well as minimum average (min) for a product type.

Compressive Plate Shear

Nominal Bare Stabilized Crush L Direction W Direction


Cell Size Density Strength
Modulus Modulus Modulus
pcf Strength psi Strength psi psi Strength psi Strength psi
ksi ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
1/8 4.5 550 375 570 405 150 260 340 285 70.0 220 168 31.0
1/8 6.1 980 650 1020 680 240 450 560 455 98.0 340 272 41.0
1/8 8.1 1500 1000 1560 1100 350 750 800 670 135.0 470 400 54.0
1/8 12.0 2700 2100 2900 2200 900 - 1940 1250 - 1430 1000 -
5/32 3.8 395 285 410 300 110 185 270 215 56.0 165 125 26.4
5/32 5.3 690 490 720 535 195 340 420 370 84.0 270 215 36.0
5/32 6.9 1080 770 1130 800 285 575 590 540 114.0 375 328 46.4
3/16 3.1 290 200 335 215 75 130 210 155 45.0 125 90 22.0
3/16 4.4 520 360 550 385 145 250 330 280 68.0 215 160 30.0
3/16 5.7 820 560 860 600 220 390 460 410 90.0 300 244 38.5
3/16 6.9 1120 770 1175 800 285 575 590 540 114.0 375 328 46.4
3/16 8.1 1600 1000 1720 1100 350 750 725 670 135.0 480 400 54.0
5052

1/4 2.3 190 120 210 130 45 75 140 100 32.0 85 57 16.2
1/4 3.4 340 240 370 250 90 150 230 180 50.0 140 105 24.0
1/4 4.3 500 350 540 370 140 230 320 265 66.0 200 155 29.8
1/4 5.2 690 500 760 510 190 335 410 360 82.0 265 200 35.4
1/4 6.0 990 630 1100 660 235 430 530 445 96.0 340 265 40.5
1/4 7.9 1420 970 1490 1050 340 725 700 650 130.0 440 390 52.8
3/8 1.6 90 60 95 70 20 40 85 60 21.0 50 32 11.0
3/8 2.3 190 120 200 130 45 75 135 100 32.0 80 57 16.2
3/8 3.0 285 190 310 200 70 120 200 145 43.0 125 85 21.2
3/8 3.7 370 270 410 285 105 180 250 200 55.0 160 115 26.0
3/8 4.2 520 335 560 355 135 220 310 255 65.0 200 150 29.0
3/8 5.4 740 500 800 535 200 360 430 380 86.0 280 228 36.8
3/8 6.5 950 700 1000 750 265 505 545 500 105.0 350 300 43.5
1/8 4.5 630 475 690 500 185 320 440 350 70.0 255 205 28.0
1/8 6.1 1120 760 1200 825 295 535 690 525 102.0 400 305 38.0
1/8 8.1 1750 1200 1900 1300 435 810 945 740 143.0 560 440 51.0
5/32 3.8 450 360 500 375 140 235 335 272 57.0 195 155 24.0
5/32 5.3 820 615 865 650 240 420 550 435 85.0 325 250 33.0
5/32 6.9 1120 920 1340 1000 350 650 760 610 118.0 430 360 43.0
3/16 3.1 380 250 410 260 97 170 265 200 45.0 150 110 20.0
3/16 4.4 620 460 670 490 180 310 425 340 68.0 245 198 27.0
5056

3/16 5.7 920 685 1000 735 270 480 565 480 94.0 330 280 36.0
1/4 2.3 240 145 265 155 58 100 180 130 32.0 100 62 15.0
1/4 3.4 400 300 480 315 115 200 290 230 50.0 175 130 22.0
1/4 4.3 580 440 620 465 172 300 400 325 67.0 230 190 27.0
1/4 5.2 790 600 820 645 230 410 490 425 84.0 300 245 32.0
3/8 1.6 100 75 110 80 30 50 90 78 20.0 60 38 10.5
3/8 2.3 215 155 225 155 58 100 170 130 32.0 95 62 15.0
3/8 3.0 320 240 340 260 92 160 245 190 43.0 145 100 19.0

Test data obtained at 0.625 inch thickness. I = Beam shear for 12.0 pcf products.

28
HexWeb® Aluminum Flex-Core Mechanical Properties
Typical values (typ) are presented below, as well as minimum average (min) for a product type.

Compressive Plate Shear


Material/ Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Nominal Crush
Cell Count
Density Strength
- Modulus Modulus Modulus
pcf Strength psi Strength psi psi Strength psi Strength psi
Gauge ksi ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
F40 – .0013 2.1 200 126 225 157 65 80 90 63 18.0 50 37 10.0
F40 – .0019 3.1 360 238 395 280 125 165 170 126 32.0 100 75 13.0
F40 – .0025 4.1 525 378 560 420 185 250 260 182 43.0 150 115 17.0
5052

F40 – .0037 5.7 935 630 1050 700 290 380 400 280 68.0 230 170 23.0
F80 – .0013 4.3 524 402 542 455 195 – 300 196 45.0 190 120 20.0
F80 – .0019 6.5 1200 700 1300 735 310 – 540 308 72.0 310 180 24.0
F80 – .0025 8.0 1600 1100 1750 1120 400 – 650 434 98.0 455 260 31.0
F40 – .0014 2.1 240 150 260 182 65 – 105 74 18.0 55 42 10.0
F40 – .0020 3.1 460 284 465 329 125 – 200 150 32.0 120 90 13.0
F40 – .0025 4.1 680 440 740 483 185 – 310 217 45.0 200 132 17.0
5056

F80 – .0014 4.3 780 475 860 518 195 – 375 235 47.0 240 138 20.0
F80 – .0020 6.5 1400 805 1500 910 310 – 645 364 73.0 420 213 24.0
F80 – .0023 8.0 1800 1210 1950 1260 410 – 850 518 100.0 570 307 32.0

Test data obtained at 0.625 inch thickness.


Flex-Core® is avialiable in a vented option when required

HexWeb® Rigicell™ Corrosion Resistant Aluminum Corrugated Honeycomb

Compressive Strength Beam Shear Strength


Hexcel Honeycomb Designation Nominal Crush
Density pcf Strength psi W Direction
Bare psi Stabilized psi L Direction psi
Material-Cell Size – Alloy – Foil psi
Gauge (Reinforcement)
typ typ typ typ typ typ
1/8 – 2 – STD 12.0 1450 2300 2400 1950 1500

1/8 – 2 – STD 14.5 2100 2900 3050 2200 1600

1/8 – 2 – STD 22.1 4100 5200 5200 3000 2050


1/8 – 2 – R2 38.0 5650 8500 8700 4300 2200p
3/16 – 2 – STD 15.7 2100 3200 3300 - -
3/16 – 2 – R2R 25.0 2900 5700 5800p 3350p 1700p

P = preliminary values that are obtained from testing of only one or two blocks of honeycomb types.

29
HexWeb® HRH-10® Aramid Fiber/Phenolic Resin Honeycomb

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb
Designation Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Strength psi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi
Material – Cell Size – Density
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 1.8 105 85 115 95 8 90 75 3.8 50 40 1.5
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 3.0 300 235 325 270 20 175 155 6.0 100 85 3.5
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 4.0 520 400 575 470 28 255 225 8.6 140 115 4.7
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 5.0 700 560 770 620 37 325 275 10.2 175 150 5.4
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 6.0 1050 850 1125 925 60 385 330 13.0 200 170 6.5
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 8.0 1675 1370 1830 1450 78 480 400 16.0 260 210 9.5
HRH-10 - 1/8 - 9.0 2000 1525 2100 1600 90 515 425 17.5 300 250 11.0
HRH-10 - 3/16 - 1.8 120 95 130 105 8 90 75 3.8 50 40 1.9
Hexagonal

HRH-10 - 3/16 - 2.0 120 100 140 105 11 110 90 4.3 60 45 2.1
HRH-10 - 3/16 - 3.0 300 235 325 270 20 175 140 6.5 100 85 3.4
HRH-10 - 3/16 - 4.0 500 430 540 470 28 245 215 7.8 140 110 4.7
HRH-10 - 3/16 - 6.0 935 780 1020 865 60 420 370 13.0 225 200 6.5
HRH-10 - 1/4 - 1.5 80 65 90 75 6 70 55 3.0 35 25 1.3
HRH-10 - 1/4 - 2.0 140 115 155 125 11 105 85 4.0 50 40 2.0
HRH-10 - 1/4 - 3.1 285 240 310 265 21 185 160 6.5 90 75 3.0
HRH-10 - 1/4 - 4.0 440 360 480 390 28 250 205 8.0 125 100 3.5
HRH-10 - 3/8 - 1.5 95 75 105 80 6 70 55 3.0 35 25 1.5
HRH-10 - 3/8 - 2.0 140 115 155 125 11 90 72 3.7 55 36 2.4
HRH-10 - 3/8 - 3.0 290 240 320 270 17 185 160 5.6 95 80 3.5
HRH-10/OX - 3/16 - 1.8 110 85 120 95 7 65 45 2.0 70 50 3.0
OX-Core

HRH-10/OX - 3/16 - 3.0 320 260 350 285 17 115 95 3.0 135 110 6.0
HRH-10/OX - 3/16 - 4.0 600 500 650 550 26 130 105 4.6 150 130 8.4
HRH-10/OX - 1/4 - 3.0 350 280 385 310 17 110 90 3.0 135 110 6.0

Note: Test data obtained at 0.500” thickness.

HexWeb® HRH-310 Aramid Fiber/Polyimide Resin Honeycomb

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb
Designation Bare L Direction W Direction
Strength psi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi
Material – Cell Size – Density
typ min typ min typ min typ min typ min
HRH-310-1/8-1.8 55 52 52 50 3.3 3.0 25 23 1.1 1.0

Test data obtained at 0.500 inch thickness per AMS-STD-401

30
HexWeb® HRH-36 Para-Aramid/Phenolic Core

HexWeb® HRH-36 Honeycomb is manufactured from DUPONT® KEVLAR® type N636 paper
Compressive Plate Shear

Hexcel Honeycomb Designation Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction

Material – Cell Size – Density Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi

typ typ typ typ typ typ


HRH-36-1/8-3.0 (1.4 mil) 275 385 215 13.6 120 6.9
HRH-36-1/8-4.5 (2.8 mil) 530 650 430 33.0 220 12.7
HRH-36-1/8-6.0 (2.8 mil) 1000 1130 530 38.0 310 15.0
HRH-36-3/16 OX-3.0 (1.4 mil) 140 160 120 10.0 70 4.9

Notes: Test data obtained at 0.500” thickness.

HexWeb® HRH-49® Honeycomb

HexWeb® HRH-49® Honeycomb is manufactured from DUPONT® KEVLAR® 49 fabric


Compressive Plate Shear
Hexcel Honeycomb Designation Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Material – Cell Size – Density Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi
typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
HRH-49 - 1/4 - 2.1 130 100 25 85 50 2.7 40 30 1.3

Notes: Test data obtained at 0.500” thickness. p = Preliminary (see page 12).
HRH-327 Fiberglass Reinforced Polyimide Honeycomb normally is not tested for bare compressive strength.

HexWeb® HRP Glass Flex-Core® Honeycomb

HexWeb® HRP® – Fiberglass cloth reinforced with a high temperature phenolic resin

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb
Designation Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi Modulus ksi Strength psi Modulus ksi
Material – Cell Size – Density
typ min typ min typ min typ typ min typ
HRP/F35 – 2.5 120 90 140 105 85 72 9.6 45 40 3.0
HRP/F35 – 3.5 320 245 400 300 200 140 15.0 105 75 10.0
HRP/F35 – 4.5 440 340 600 470 280 220 22.0 140 110 12.0
HRP/F50 – 3.5 315 225 395 255 170 130 16.0 90 65 8.0
HRP/F50 – 4.5 420 340 600 500 265 200 25.0 140 100 13.0
HRP/F50 – 5.5 700 540 800 680 440 330 40.0 235 180 18.0
HRH-10/F35 – 2.5 200 150 230 175 110 90 4.0 65 50 2.5
HRH-10/F35 – 3.5 410 320 430 330 220 170 6.0 120 90 3.7
HRH-10/F35 – 4.5 580 440 620 480 300 230 9.0 190 150 4.3
HRH-10/F50 – 3.5 380 300 400 310 175 130 5.5 100 75 3.6
HRH-10/F50 – 4.5 565 450 585 470 330 250 9.5 175 140 4.7
HRH-10/F50 – 5.0 670 520 690 540 380 300 10.0 215 170 5.2
HRH-10/F50 – 5.5 800 620 850 660 400 320 10.5 230 180 5.7

Test per AMS-STD-401 at 0.500 inch thickness. 31


HexWeb® HDC Heavy Density Core

Compressive Long Beam Shears


Material – Cell – Density Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi
HDC-3/16-16.0 (R2) 3120 1530 700
HDC-660-3/16-17.5 (R2) 3350 1780 840

HexWeb® Fibertruss® HFT® Fiberglass/Phenolic Honeycomb

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb
Designation Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Modulus Modulus Modulus
Material – Cell Size – Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi
ksi ksi ksi
Density
typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
HFT – 1/8 – 3.0 350 270 23.0 195 150 19.0 95 75 7.5
HFT – 1/8 – 4.0 560 420 46.0 315 240 25.0 150 120 12.0
HFT – 1/8 – 5.5 900 700 69.0 525 410 40.0 250 190 16.0
HFT – 1/8 – 8.0 1750 1500 100.0 675 525 45.0 480 400 21.5
HFT – 3/16 – 2.0 170 130 17.0 115 90 15.0 60 50 5.0
HFT – 3/16 – 3.0 365 275 34.0 200 155 19.0 100 80 9.0
HFT – 3/16 – 4.0 550 460 44.0 340 270 25.0 190 140 12.0
HFT – 3/8 – 4.0 500 400 - 380 290 27.0 195 140 13.0

HexWeb® HRH-327 Fiberglass Reinforced Polyimide Honeycomb

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb
Designation Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Modulus Modulus Modulus
Material – Cell Size – Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi
ksi ksi ksi
Density
typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
HRH-327 – 1/8 – 3.2 310 220 27 195 140 19 95 70 7.5
HRH-327 – 1/8 – 5.5 790p 600p 80p 465p 300p 30p 245p 175p 14.5p
HRH-327 – 3/16 – 4.0 440p 340p 40p 280p 200p 24p 130p 90p 10.0p
HRH-327 – 3/16 – 4.5 520 400 58 320 220 33 150 110 11.0
HRH-327 – 3/16 – 5.0 600p 480p 68p 370p 280p 37p 180 135p 12.0p
HRH-327 – 3/16 – 6.0 780 625 87 460 345 45 230 170 15.0
HRH-327 – 3/16 – 8.0 1210 1000 126 700 490 55 420 300 22.0

32
HexWeb® HRP and HTP Fiberglass/Phenolic Honeycomb

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Designation
Modulus Modulus Modulus
Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi
Material – Cell Size – Density ksi ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ typ min typ typ min typ
HRP – 3/16 – 4.0 480 400 590 480 57 310 210 13..0 160 130 6.5
HRP – 3/16 – 5.5 800 620 900 750 95 490 390 19.0 265 200 11.0
HRP – 3/16 – 8.0 1350 1100 1530 1280 164 750 600 33.0 460 370 19.0
HRP – 3/16 – 12.0 2300 1800 2520 1960 260 985 815 44.0 675 525 28.0
HRP – 1/4 – 3.5 390 280 455 400 46 250 180 10.0 125 100 5.0
Hexagonal

HRP – 1/4 – 4.5 585 480 640 560 70 355 280 15.0 200 155 8.0
HRP – 1/4 – 5.0 680 530 820 660 84 400 305 20.0 230 180 10.0
HRP – 1/4 – 6.5 1025 800 1180 920 120 580 450 23.0 330 260 13.0
HRP – 3/8 – 3.2 315 260 390 300 38 205 160 11.0 110 85 5.0
HRP – 3/8 – 3.5 340 290 410 325 41 210 165 11.3 120 95 5.3
HRP – 3/8 – 4.5 550 450 690 530 65 325 260 14.0 190 150 8.0
HRP – 3/8 – 6.0 830 650 1000 800 100 470 400 23.0 280 210 11.8
OX-Core

HRP/OX – 1/4 – 4.5 560 480 675 540 43 250 200 7.0 260 210 15.0

The following mechanical properties apply to the various HRP core types when tested per AMS-STD 401 at 0.500 inch thickness and meet the
requirements of MIL-C-8073 Class II, AMS3715, and most airframe manufacturers’ specifications.

HexWeb® HRH Nonmetallic Flex-Core® Honeycomb


HexWeb® HRH-10® – DUPONT® NOMEX® aramid paper reinforced with a high temperature phenolic resin

Compressive Plate Shear


Hexcel Honeycomb Bare Stabilized L Direction W Direction
Designation
Modulus Modulus
Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi Strength psi
Material – Cell Size – Density ksi ksi
typ min typ min typ min typ typ min typ
HRH-10/F35 – 2.5 200 150 230 175 110 90 4.0 65 50 2.5
HRH-10/F35 – 3.5 410 320 430 330 220 170 6.0 120 90 3.7
HRH-10/F35 – 4.5 580 440 620 480 300 230 9.0 190 150 4.3
HRH-10/F50 – 3.5 380 300 400 310 175 130 5.5 100 75 3.6
HRH-10/F50 – 4.5 565 450 585 470 330 250 9.5 175 140 4.7
HRH-10/F50 – 5.0 670 520 690 540 380 300 10.0 215 170 5.2
HRH-10/F50 – 5.5 800 620 850 660 400 320 10.5 230 180 5.7

Test per AMS-STD-401 at 0.500 inch thickness.

33
Hexcel Honeycomb
Technical Literature Index
Brochures ¥¥HRH®-10 - Aramid Fiber/Phenolic Honeycomb
¥¥Hexcel CR-PAA™ ¥¥HRH®-49 - Honeycomb of Kevlar® 49

¥¥Hexcel Honeycomb FMVSS 201U Safety ¥¥HRH®-310 - Aramid Fiber/Polyimide Resin

Standards Honeycomb
¥¥Hexcel Special Process ¥¥HRH®-327 - Fiberglass Reinforced Polyimide

¥¥HexWeb™ Honeycomb Attributes and Honeycomb


Properties ¥¥HRP® - Fiberglass/Phenolic Honeycomb

¥¥Honeycomb Sandwich Design Technology ¥¥HRH®-36 - Para-Aramid/Phenolic Core

¥¥Honeycomb Selector Guide ¥¥Rigicell™ - Corrosion Resistant Aluminum

Corrugated Honeycomb
Data Sheets
¥¥A1 and A10 - High Strength Aramid Honeycomb Guide
[U.K. manufactured equivalent to ¥¥Aluminum and Nomex® Honeycombs Cross

HRH®-10 respectively] Reference Guide


¥¥Acousti-Core® - Acoustical Absorption

Honeycomb
¥¥Aluminum Flex-Core® - Formable Aluminum

Honeycomb
¥¥CR III® - Corrosion Resistant Specification Grade

Aluminum Honeycomb
¥¥CR III® - Aluminum Honeycomb

¥¥CR-PAA™ - Phosphoric Acid Anodized Aluminum

Honeycomb
¥¥CROSS-CORE® - Bi-directional Aluminum

Corrugated Honeycomb
¥¥Fibertruss® HFT® - Fiberglass/Phenolic

Honeycomb
¥¥Nonmetallic Flex-Core® - Formable Nonmetallic/

Phenolic Honeycomb

34
Notes

35
Hexcel Product Family

HexTow® HexFlow® HexMC® Molding


Carbon Fiber Resins Composite

HexForce® Polyspeed® HexWeb®


Reinforcements Laminates Honeycomb Core

HiTape®
Modipur® HexWeb®
Advanced
Polyurethane Engineered Core
Reinforcements

HexPly® Redux® HexTool®


Prepregs Adhesives Tooling Material

HiMax™
Multiaxial
Reinforcements

For more information


Hexcel is a leading worldwide supplier of composite materials to aerospace and industrial markets.
Our comprehensive range includes:
¥¥HexTow® carbon fibers ¥¥HexMC® molding compounds ¥¥Acousti-Cap® sound
¥¥HexForce® reinforcements ¥¥HexFlow® RTM resins attenuating honeycomb
¥¥HiMax™ multiaxial ¥¥Redux® adhesives ¥¥Engineered core

reinforcements ¥¥HexTool® tooling materials ¥¥Engineered products

¥¥HexPly® prepregs ¥¥HexWeb® honeycombs

For US quotes, orders and product information call toll-free 1-866-611-4038. For other worldwide sales office
telephone numbers and a full address list, please go to:

http://www.hexcel.com/contact/salesoffice
ATA 377 FB17b

©2016 Hexcel Corporation – All rights reserved. Hexcel Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Hexcel”)
believe that the technical data and other information provided herein was materially accurate as of the date
this document was issued. Hexcel reserves the right to update, revise or modify such technical data and
information at any time. Any performance values provided are considered representative but do not and
should not constitute a substitute for your own testing of the suitability of our products for your particular
purpose. Hexcel makes no warranty or representation, express or implied, including but not
limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and
disclaims any liability arising out of or related to, the use of or reliance upon any of the technical
data or information contained in this document.
36
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

The honeycomb sandwich construction is one of the most

valued structural engineering innovations developed by the


composites industry.

Used extensively in aerospace and many other industries,


the honeycomb sandwich provides the following key benefits

over conventional materials:

- Very low weight

- High stiffness

- Durability

- Production cost savings

Hexcel began developing honeycomb over 40 years ago,


and now supplies a range of high performance honeycombs,
prepregs and Redux® film adhesives - all ideally suited to the
manufacture of honeycomb sandwich constructions. Hexcel is

also the leading supplier of lightweight honeycomb sandwich


panels.

This guide explains how to design and manufacture


honeycomb sandwich panels, from materials selection and

analysis of mechanical properties, through to production


methods, and includes basic sample calculations for simple
constructions.

More complex calculations may require computer modelling

which, although mentioned briefly, is beyond the scope of this


publication.

December 2000
Publication No. AGU 075b

® Hexcel Registered Trademark


© Hexcel Composites, Duxford

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 1
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Contents

Page

Contents 2

Benefits of Honeycomb Sandwich Constructions 3

Materials Selection 4-5

Design:
How a beam works 6

Failure modes 7-8

Design Guidelines 9

Nomenclature 10

Summary of Beam Coefficients 11

Sample Problems 12

Simply Supported Beam 12 - 13

Simply Supported Plate 14 - 17

End Loading Conditions 18 - 19

Computer Modelling 20

Production Methods 21 - 22

Edge Closure Design 23

Health & Safety 24

Appendix I
Mechanical Properties of Honeycomb Materials 25

Appendix II
Properties of Typical Facing Materials 26

Appendix III
Summary of Formulae 27

Further Reading 28

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 2
BENEFITS OF HONEYCOMB SANDWICH CONSTRUCTIONS

The facing skins of a sandwich panel can be compared to the holding the facing skins apart, and improving on the I-beam, it
flanges of an I-beam, as they carry the bending stresses to gives continuous support to the flanges or facing skins to
which the beam is subjected. With one facing skin in produce a uniformly stiffened panel. The core-to-skin adhesive
compression, the other is in tension. Similarly the honeycomb rigidly joins the sandwich components and allows them to act
core corresponds to the web of the I-beam. The core resists as one unit with a high torsional and bending rigidity.
the shear loads, increases the stiffness of the structure by

Adhesive

Honeycomb core Flanges


Web

Facing skin

Sandwich panel I-beam

Figure 1 shows the construction of a sandwich panel compared to an I beam.

Stiffness 1.0 7.0 37.0

Flexural
Strength 1.0 3.5 9.2

Weight 1.0 1.03 1.06

Figure 2 shows the relative stiffness and weight of sandwich panels compared to solid panels.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 3
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

MATERIALS SELECTION

Honeycomb Sandwich Materials 3) Flammable. Flammable materials are sometimes further


defined by determining the flame spread rate under
The honeycomb sandwich construction can comprise an specified conditions.
unlimited variety of materials and panel configurations. The
composite structure provides great versatility as a wide range Heat Transfer:
of core and facing material combinations can be selected. The The transfer of heat through a sandwich panel is dependent
following criteria should be considered in the routine selection upon the basic principles of convection, conduction and
of core, facing, and adhesive. radiation. Metallic cores with metallic facings maximise heat
flow characteristics.
Structural Considerations
Moisture/Humidity:
Strength: Some core and facing materials offer excellent resistance to
Honeycomb cores and some facing materials are directional degradation due to moisture and humidity.
with regard to mechanical properties and care must be taken
to ensure that the materials are orientated in the panel to take Adhesive Solvents and Outgassing:
the best advantage of this attribute. Some adhesives give off gases or solvent vapours during cure
which can interact with resin systems in some non-metallic
Stiffness:
cores, or with the node adhesive in some metallic
Sandwich structures are frequently used to maximise stiffness
honeycombs. The entire bonding process must be checked to
at very low weights. Because of the relatively low shear
ensure that no reduction in mechanical properties has
modulus of most core materials, however, the deflection
occurred due to incompatibility of the materials or process
calculations must allow for shear deflection of the structure in
actually used. All of Hexcel's Redux® film adhesives are
addition to the bending deflections usually considered.
compatible with this type of construction.
Adhesive Performance:
The adhesive must rigidly attach the facings to the core Honeycomb Materials
material in order for loads to be transmitted from one facing to
the other. Suitable adhesives include high modulus, high HexWeb honeycomb is available in a wide range of materials
strength materials available as liquids, pastes or dry films. As a including:-
general rule, a low peel-strength, or relatively brittle adhesive
should never be used with very light sandwich structures which Aluminium, Nomex (Aramid), Korex, Kevlar, Fibreglass, Carbon.
may be subjected to abuse or damage in storage, handling or
For details please consult The HexWeb Honeycomb Selector
service.
Guide and the HexWeb Honeycomb Attributes and Properties
Economic Considerations: Manual.
Composite sandwich panels can provide a cost effective
Selected mechanical properties for Aluminium and Nomex
solution. Value analysis should include assessment of
honeycombs are shown in Appendix I.
production and assembly costs; and installation costs including
supporting structure. Mechanical Performance
Environmental Considerations Honeycomb strength and stiffness (compression and shear) is
Temperature: proportional to density. Relative performance of the material
As in any materials system the thermal environment will play an types is shown in comparison to PVC foam.
important role in the selection of materials.
strength stiffness
All systems are basically operational at Room Temperature and 5052, 5056 & HRP
materials are readily available to give performance up from 5052 & 5056
-55°C to 170°C. HRH10 & HRH78
Material selection should also take account of available 3003/ACG
3003/ACG
manufacturing facilities, especially cure temperature capability.
HRP
Flammability: PVC
HRH10 &
Materials used in bonded sandwich construction are usually foam HRH78
classified into three categories: PVC
foam

1) Non-burning - which means that the product will not burn. density density

2) Self-extinguishing - which means that the material will burn Key: Aluminium - 3003/ACG; 5052; 5056
while held in a flame but will extinguish when the flame is Nomex - HRH10; HRH78;
removed. Fibreglass - HRP

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 4
Cell Size Skin Materials

A large cell size is the lower cost option, but in combination The table in Appendix II shows properties of typical facing
with thin skins may result in telegraphing, i.e. a ‘dimpled’ outer materials for sandwich panel construction.
surface of the sandwich. A small cell size will give an improved
surface appearance, and provides a greater bonding area, but Skin considerations include the weight targets, possible
at higher cost. abuses and local (denting) loads, corrosion or decorative
constraints, and costs.
Cell Shape
Normally supplied with hexagonal cell shapes, a few Facing material thickness directly affects both the skin stress
honeycomb types can be supplied with rectangular cell shapes and panel deflection.
(W:L approximately 2:1), and designated OX.
Hexcel Composites offers a wide range of prepreg materials.
Refer to the Prepreg Matrix Selector Guide to identify systems
most likely to suit your application, where fibre reinforced
composites are thought appropriate.

Adhesive Materials

For honeycomb sandwich bonding, the following criteria are


important:

1. Fillet Forming
To achieve a good attachment to an open cell core such as
hexagonal cell size
= measured across flats
honeycomb, the adhesive should flow sufficiently to form a fillet
without running away from the skin to core joint.

2. Bond Line Control


Every endeavour should be made to ensure intimate contact
between the parts during bonding, as the adhesive needs to fill
any gaps between the bonding surfaces.

Adhesives are often supplied supported by a carrier cloth, for


the purpose of helping them to remain in place where the parts
are squeezed particularly tightly together.

Hexcel Composites offers a wide range of film adhesives.


Refer to the REDUX® Film Adhesive Selector Guide to identify
OX cell size the most suitable material for your application.
= nominal hexagonal cell
size before expansion to
rectangular shape.

Hexagonal cells give minimum density for a given amount of


material.
Rectangular cells give easier forming in the W direction (with
less anticlastic curvature than is exhibited by hexagonal cell
honeycomb).

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 5
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

SANDWICH DESIGN

How a Sandwich Beam Works

Loads

Consider a cantilever beam with a load applied at the free end.


The applied load creates a bending moment which is a
maximum at the fixed end, and a shear force along the length
of the beam.

In a sandwich panel these forces create tension in the upper


skin and compression in the lower skin. The core spaces the
facing skins and transfers shear between them to make the
composite panel work as a homogeneous structure.

Deflections

The deflection of a sandwich panel is made up from bending


and shear components.

The bending deflection is dependant on the relative tensile and


compressive moduli of the skin materials.

The shear deflection is dependant on the shear modulus of the


core.

Total Deflection = Bending Deflection + Shear Deflection.

Under different sets of applied loads and supporting


conditions, the material stresses and deflections can be
calculated as shown on page 9 onwards.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 6
Failure modes

Designers of sandwich panels must ensure that all potential


failure modes are considered in their analysis. A summary of
the key failure modes is shown below:

1. Strength
The skin and core materials should be able to withstand the
tensile, compressive and shear stresses induced by the design
load.

The skin to core adhesive must be capable of transferring the


shear stresses between skin and core.

Skin compression failure

2. Stiffness
The sandwich panel should have sufficient bending and shear
stiffness to prevent excessive deflection.

Excessive deflection

3. Panel buckling
The core thickness and shear modulus must be adequate to
prevent the panel from buckling under end compression loads.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 7
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

4. Shear crimping
The core thickness and shear modulus must be adequate to
prevent the core from prematurely failing in shear under end
compression loads.

5. Skin wrinkling
The compressive modulus of the facing skin and the core
compression strength must both be high enough to prevent a
skin wrinkling failure.

6. Intra cell buckling


For a given skin material, the core cell size must be small
enough to prevent intra cell buckling.

7. Local compression
The core compressive strength must be adequate to resist
local loads on the panel surface.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 8
DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR A HONEYCOMB SANDWICH PANEL

1. Define loading conditions 5. Optimise design


e.g. Point loading, uniform distributed load, end loads.
- Modify skin thickness, skin material and panel thickness to
Care should be taken to consider all possible loading achieve acceptable performance.
conditions. For example, see table page 11, or refer to an
appropriate 'Industry Standard' for guidance. - Select suitable core to withstand shear stress.

2. Define panel type 6. Detailed calculations


e.g. Cantilever, simply supported.
- Calculate stiffness.
This is determined by the type and extent of the panel
supports. Fully built in support conditions should only be - Calculate deflection, including shear deflection.
considered when the supporting structure has adequate
stiffness to resist deflection under the applied loads. - Calculate facing skin stress..

- Calculate core shear stress.


3. Define physical/space constraints
- Check for panel buckling - where applicable
This should include an assessment of the requirements
including: - Check for shear crimping.

- deflection limit - Check for skin wrinkling.

- thickness limit
- Check for intracell buckling.
- weight limit
- Check for local compression loads on core.
- factor of safety
NB.
Preliminary materials selection should be based on the above
The formulae used for the sample problems that follow on
criteria in conjunction with the features considered on pages
pages 12 to 19, use simplified terms and give an order of
4 - 5 (and appendices I and II).
magnitude appreciation.

4. Preliminary calculations See also Summary of Formulae in Appendix III.

- Make an assumption about skin material, skin thickness and


panel thickness. Ignore the core material at this stage.

- Calculate stiffness.

- Calculate deflection (ignoring shear deflection).

- Calculate facing skin stress.

- Calculate core shear stress.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 9
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

NOMENCLATURE

a = Panel length
A = Area of applied load
b = Beam width
D = Panel bending stiffness
EC = Compression modulus of core
Ef = Modulus of elasticity of facing skin
F = Maximum shear force
GC = Core shear modulus - in direction of applied load
GL = Core shear modulus - Ribbon direction
GW = Core shear modulus - Transverse direction
h = Distance between facing skin centres
kb = Beam - bending deflection coefficient
kS = Beam - shear deflection coefficient
K1 = Panel parameter (used for simply supported plate)
K2 = Panel parameter (used for simply supported plate)
K3 = Panel parameter (used for simply supported plate)
l = Beam span
M = Maximum bending moment
P = Applied load
Pb = Critical buckling load
q = Uniformly distributed load
R = Ratio GL/GW
s = Cell size
S = Panel shear stiffness
tC = Thickness of core
tf = Thickness of facing skin
V = Panel parameter (used for simply supported plate)
d = Calculated deflection
sC = Core compressive stress
sCR = Critical facing skin stress
sf = Calculated facing skin stress
tC = Shear stress in core
m = Poissons Ratio of face material
l = Bending correction factor for Poissons Ratio effect

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 10
Summary of beam coefficients

MAXIMUM MAXIMUM BENDING SHEAR


BEAM TYPE SHEAR BENDING DEFLECTION DEFLECTION
FORCE MOMENT COEFFICIENT COEFFICIENT
F M kb kS

P=qlb Simple Support

P Pl 5 1
2 8 384 8

Uniform Load Distribution


P=qlb Both Ends Fixed

P Pl 1 1
2 12 384 8

Uniform Load Distribution


Simple Support
P
P Pl 1 1
2 4 48 4

Central Load
Both Ends Fixed
P
P Pl 1 1
2 8 192 4

Central Load
P=qlb One End Fixed
(Cantilever)
P Pl 1 1
2 8 2

Uniform Load Distribution


One End Fixed
(Cantilever)
P P Pl 1 1
3

Load One End


P=qlb One End Fixed
2 (Cantilever)
P Pl 1 1
3 15 3

Triangular Load Distribution

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 11
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

SAMPLE PROBLEMS BASED ON A STANDARD HEXLITE 220 PANEL

Configuration and Data: Simply Supported Beam

Facing Skins Aluminium 5251 H24 - taking a beam as being defined as having width (b) less
than 1/3 of span (l)
Thickness t1 and t2 = 0.50mm

and from Appendix II

Yield Strength = 150 MPa

Ef Modulus = 70 GPa

Poissins Ratio m = 0.33

Core 5.2 - 1/4 - 3003

Thickness tC = 25.4 mm

and from Appendix I

EC Modulus = 1000 MPa

Longitudinal shear = 2.4 MPa

GL Modulus = 440 MPa


Considering a centre point loaded beam
Transverse shear = 1.5 MPa with b = 0.5m and l = 2m and P = 1500N

GW Modulus = 220 MPa

Stabilized Compression = 4.6 MPa

Beam

Bending Stiffness

D = Ef tf h2 b D = (70 x 109) (0.5 x 10-3) (25.9 x 10-3)2 (0.5)


2 2
D = 5869.6 Nm2
Where h = tf + tC

Shear Stiffness As the core shear here will be taken by the weaker transverse
direction - take GC = GW shear modulus
S = b h GC
S = (0.5) (25.9 x 10-3) (220 x 106)

S = 2849 x 103 N

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 12
Beam continued

Deflection

Bending plus Shear Bending plus Shear

d = kb Pl3 + kS Pl d = 1 x 1500 x 23 + 1 x 1500 x 2


D S 48 5869.6 4 2849 x 103

Where kb and kS are deflection coefficients from page 11. d = 0.04259m + 0.000263m

If doing preliminary calculations, just work out the bending Total = approx 43mm
deflection.
If excessive, then the most efficient way to reduce deflection is
If optimising design, calculate for both bending and shear to increase core thickness, and thus increase the skin
components (as shown opposite). separation and the value of h.

Facing Stress

sf = M M = Pl = 1500 x 2 = 750 Nm
h tf b 4 4

Where M is Maximum Bending Moment expression from page 11 sf = 750


(25.9 x 10-3) (0.5 x 10-3) (0.5)
and h = tf + tC
sf = 115.8 MPa

So calculated stress is less than face material typical yield


strength of 150 MPa, thus giving a factor of safety.

Core Stress

tC = F F = P = 1500 = 750N
hb 2 2

Where F is Maximum Shear Force expression from page 11 t = 750


(25.9 x 10-3) (0.5)

t = 0.06 MPa

So calculated shear is considerably less than core material


typical plate shear in the transverse (W) direction of 1.5 MPa,
giving a factor of safety, which could allow core density to be
reduced.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 13
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Simply Supported Plate

- taking a plate as being defined as having width (b) greater


than 1/3 of length (a)

Because plate theory is more involved than beam theory, some


'charts' have been provided to give multipliers/coefficients for
use with plates simply supported on all four sides.

A further term (ll) is also introduced, to take account of the


Poisson's Ratio of the face skin materials. For the plate set up
shown, l is taken as 1- µ2.

NB. For the earlier beams, and the end load conditioning to
follow, l is assumed to be 1, as any affect from Poisson's
Ration is small due to the relative narrowness of beams.

Plate

Determine Plate Coefficient

b 1000 = 0.5
a 2000

R = GL 440 = 2
GW 220

Use R = 2.5 in Figs. on pages 16 & 17

V = p² E tf h V = p² (70 x 109) (0.5 x 10-3) (25.9 x 10-3) = 0.023


2b2 GW l (2) (12) (220 x 106) (1 - 0.332)

From Fig.1 (page 16) K1 = 0.0107 Take V = 0 in Figs. on pages 16 & 17


From Fig.2 (page 17) K2 = 0.102

and for shorter span length b

From Fig.3 (page 17) K3 = 0.36

Deflection

d = 2K1 q b4 l d = (2) (0.0107) (3 x 103) (14) (1 - 0.332)


Ef tf h2 (70 x 109) (0.5 x 10-3) (25.9 x 10-3)2

d = 0.0024m = 2.4mm

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 14
Plate continued

Facing Stress

sf = K2 q b2 sf = (0.102) (3 x 103) (12)


ht (25.9 x 10-3) (0.5 x 10-3)

sf = 23.6 MPa

So calculated stress is considerably less than skin material


typical yield strength of 150 MPa, thus giving a factor of safety.

Core Shear

tC = K3 q b tC = (0.36) (3 x 103) (1)


h (25.9 x 10-3)

tC = 0.042 MPa

So calculated core shear is considerably less than typical core


material shear value of 1.5 MPa, thus giving a factor of safety.

Local Compression

sC = P = qxA sC = (3 x 103) (2 x 1)
A A (2 x 1)

sC = 0.003 MPa

So local compression would not be an issue, being very small in


comparison to typical core compression strength of 4.6 MPa.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 15
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Charts providing coefficients for plates simply supported on all four sides

Figure 1 - K1 for determining maximum deflection d

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 16
Figure 2 - K2 for determining facing stress s

Figure 3 - K3 for determining maximum core shear stress tC

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 17
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

END LOAD CONDITIONS

Considering a uniformly distributed end load of


q = 20kN/m length and with b = 0.5m and l = 2m.

q = 20kN/m length

End Loading

Facing Stress

sf = P sf = (20 x 103) (0.5)


2 tf b (2) (0.5 x 10-3) (0.5)

assuming end load is taken by both skins, and applied load sf = 20 MPa
P=qxb
This is safe, as it is considerably less than skin material typical
yield strength of 150 MPa.

Panel Buckling

Pb = p² D Considering the core shear to be in the weaker transverse


l2 + p ² D direction
GC h b
So GC = GW shear modulus
Taking D from the beam calculation example.
Then

Pb = p² (5869.6)
(2)2 + p² (5869.6)
(220 x 106) (25.9 x 10-3) (0.5)

Pb = 14,413 N

So calculated load at which critical buckling would occur is


greater than the end load being applied (P) of 10,000 N, thus
giving a factor of safety.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 18
End Loading continued

Shear Crimping Taking GC as GW

Pb = tC GC b Pb = (25.4 x 10-3) (220 x 106) (0.5)

Pb = 2.79 MN

So the calculated load at which shear crimping would occur, is


considerably greater than the end load being applied (P) of
10,000 N, thus giving a factor of safety.

Skin Wrinkling Taking GC as GW

sCR = 0.5 [GC EC Ef] 1/3


sCR = 0.5 [(220 x 106) (1000 x 106) (70 x 109)] 1/3

sCR = 1244 MPa

So the stress level at which skin wrinkling would occur, is well


beyond the skin material typical yield strength of 150 MPa; so
skin stress is more critical than skin wrinkling.

Intracell Buckling

sCR = 2 Ef tf 2
sCR = 2 (70 x 109) (0.5 x 10-3) 2

s (6.4 x 10-3)

NB: s = cell size sCR = 854 MPa

So stress level at which intracell buckling would occur is well


beyond the skin material typical yield strength of 150 MPa; so
skin stress is more critical than intracell buckling.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 19
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

COMPUTER MODELLING OF HONEYCOMB SANDWICH PANELS


For a more sophisticated analysis of a structure, considering
the sandwich panel to be subjected to a combination of forces,
a technique such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) might be
used.

In general terms, the shear forces normal to the panel will be


carried by the honeycomb core. Bending moments and in-
plane forces on the panel will be carried as membrane forces
in the facing skins.

For many practical cases, where the span of the panel is large
compared to its thickness, the shear deflection will be
negligible. In these cases, it may be possible to obtain
reasonable results by modelling the structure using composite
shell elements. It should be noted that the in-plane stiffness of
the honeycomb is negligible compared to that of the facing
skins.

Where a more detailed model is required it is possible to


model the honeycomb core using solid 3D elements. Attempts Before analysing a large structure the modelling technique
to model the individual cells of the honeycomb should be should be checked by modelling a simple panel with known
avoided for normal engineering analyses. results.

When defining the properties of honeycomb core the following The above simplistic approach has proven to give reasonable
points should be taken into consideration:- engineering solutions for practical applications.

EX » EY » 0 The actual force/stress distribution within a honeycomb


sandwich structure is a complex subject, and is beyond the
scope of this publication.
A very small value may be necessary to avoid singularity.

mxy » mxz » myz » 0

Gxy » 0

Gxz = GL = shear modulus in ribbon direction

Gyz = GW = shear modulus in transverse direction

EZ = EC = compressive modulus of core material

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 20
MANUFACTURE

Basic Honeycomb Sandwich Production Methods

Honeycomb sandwich components may be produced using


three alternative well-established methods:-

Heated Press, generally used for the production of flat


board or simple preformed panels.

Vacuum Bag Processing, used for curved and complex


form panels.

Matched Mould Processing, used generally for batch


production of finished panels.

Heated Press

Ideally the panels should be assembled ready for curing as a


single shot process. This method is suitable for metallic and
prepreg (pre-impregnated) facing skins. Alternatively prepreg
facing skin materials may be pre-cured by using a press, and
subsequently bonding with a film adhesive layer.

Hexcel's Redux® range of film adhesives is well suited for these


production methods.
Honeycomb
Integrally bonded items such as extruded bar sections and core
Caul or
inserts may be included and located by the honeycomb core Layup Plates
or with simple tooling. Adhesive

Facing

Facing
Honeycomb Skin
Core Material Redux Film Material NB. Some further information related to production methods,
Adhesive may be found in Hexcel Composites publications: "Redux
Bonding Technology" Ref: RGU 034b and "Prepreg
Technology" Ref: FGU 017 available on request or via
www.hexcelcomposites.com

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 21
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Vacuum Bag Processing Match Mould Processing

The component should be assembled for cure as a single shot This method is most suited to the single shot cure process
process, the necessary consolidation is obtained using a where a key objective is to achieve production items with high
vacuum. This can be cured in an oven, and additional pressure levels of tolerance and surface finish. The heat and pressure
can be applied if an autoclave is used. cure cycle in this case is applied using a variety of methods.
Typical methods are the use of heated tools with external
This method is suitable for items with prepreg or preformed mechanical pressure or non heated tools placed in a press or
composite or metallic facing skins. When flexible or formed oven to achieve the full cycle.
honeycomb core and film adhesives are used complex items
may be produced. Using a room temperature curing adhesive cold bonding may
be considered if the sandwich construction is too large to be
processed using the above methods, or if heating equipment is
unavilable.

PRESSURE

Vacuum bag

Form tool

Matched Tool

Facing
Skin
Material
Honeycomb
Core Material Redux Film
Adhesive

Advice on special methods and applications, plus information


Facing on equipment and suppliers can be obtained from Hexcel
Skin
Composites on request.
Material
Honeycomb Redux Film
Core Material Adhesive

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 22
Sandwich Panel Edge Closure Design

When designing of sandwich panels it may be necessary to


consider methods of closing or sealing the edges. Exposed
edge areas are a potential weakness in the design as they may
be susceptible to local impact or environmental damage.

Edge closures may also provide local reinforcements,


attachment points, or simply meet aesthetic requirements.

Illustrated are a number of methods commonly used to close


sandwich boards:

Further information on edge closure, board joining, fabrication


and finishing methods is available in the Hexcel Composites
publication “Sandwich Board Fabrication Technology” Ref:
LTU 018, available on request.

Panel closed with edge filler. Bonded 'Z' section

Box extrusion Bonded 'U' section

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 23
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

SAFETY

Handling Precautions

When fabricating from honeycomb sandwich board materials it is advisable to wear disposable clean cotton gloves throughout the
entire operation. This helps to keep the panel clean, and affords protection for the operator's hands.

Glass fibre dust is an irritant. Avoid breathing the dust generated by cutting operations, and do not rub the eyes with hands which
may be contaminated with the dust.

The usual precautions should be observed while working with synthetic resins.

Product Safety Data Sheets have been prepared for all Hexcel Composites products and are available to company safety officers on
request.

The information contained herein is believed to be the best available at the time of printing but is given without acceptance of liability, whether
expressed or implied, for loss or damage attributable to reliance thereon. Users should make their own assessment of the technology's suitability for
their own conditions of use and, before making any commitment with regard to the information given, should check that it has not been superseded.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 24
APPENDIX I

Mechanical Properties of Honeycomb Materials - Typical Values at Room Temperature

PRODUCT CONSTRUCTION COMPRESSION PLATE SHEAR

Density Cell Size* Stabilized L Direction W Direction

kg/m3 mm Strength Modulus Strength Modulus Strength Modulus


(lb/ft3) (in) MPa MPa MPa MPa MPa MPa
3003 Aluminium
29 (1.8) 19 (3/4) 0.9 165 0.65 110 0.4 55
37 (2.3) 9 (3/8) 1.4 240 0.8 190 0.45 90
42 (2.6) 13 (1/2) 1.5 275 0.9 220 0.5 100
54 (3.4) 6 (1/4) 2.5 540 1.4 260 0.85 130
59 (3.7) 9 (3/8) 2.6 630 1.45 280 0.9 140
83 (5.2) 6 (1/4) 4.6 1000 2.4 440 1.5 220
5052 Aluminium
37 (2.3) 6 (1/4) 1.35 310 0.96 220 0.58 112
50 (3.1) 5 (3/16) 2.3 517 1.45 310 0.9 152
54 (3.4) 6 (1/4) 2.6 620 1.6 345 1.1 166
72 (4.5) 3 (1/8) 4.2 1034 2.3 483 1.5 214
83 (5.2) 6 (1/4) 5.2 1310 2.8 565 1.8 245
127 (7.9) 6 (1/4) 10.0 2345 4.8 896 2.9 364
130 (8.1) 3 (1/8) 11.0 2414 5.0 930 3.0 372
5056 Aluminium
37 (2.3) 6 (1/4) 1.8 400 1.2 220 0.7 103
50 (3.1) 3 (1/8) 2.4 669 1.7 310 1.1 138
50 (3.1) 5 (3/16) 2.8 669 1.8 310 1 138
72 (4.5) 3 (1/8) 4.7 1275 3.0 483 1.7 193
HRH10 Nomex (Aramid)
29 (1.8) 3 (1/8) 0.9 60 0.5 25 0.35 17.0
32 (2.0) 5 (3/16) 1.2 75 0.7 29 0.4 19.0
32 (2.0) 13 (1/2) 1.0 75 0.75 30 0.35 19.0
48 (3.0) 3 (1/8) 2.4 138 1.25 40 0.73 25.0
48 (3.0) 5 (3/16) 2.4 140 1.2 40 0.7 25.0
64 (4.0) 3 (1/8) 3.9 190 2.0 63 1.0 35.0
64 (4.0) 6 (1/4) 5.0 190 1.55 55 0.86 33.0
80 (5.0) 3 (1/8) 5.3 250 2.25 72 1.2 40.0
96 (6.0) 3 (1/8) 7.7 400 2.6 85 1.5 50.0
123 (7.9) 3 (1/8) 11.5 500 3.0 100 1.9 60.0
144 (9.0) 3 (1/8) 15.0 600 3.5 115 1.9 69.0

29 (1.8) 5 OX (3/16) 1.0 50 0.4 14 0.4 21.0


48 (3.0) 5 OX (3/16) 2.9 120 0.8 20 0.85 35.0
HRH78 Typical mechanical properties are similar to HRH10, however, the aramid sheet
manufacturing tolerances are wider therefore minimum values may be reduced.

Other foil thicknesses and cell size are available: see specific data sheet or Selector Guide, obtainable from Hexcel Composites on request.
*Please note that the exact cell sizes for HexWeb core are the imperial measurements. The metric values are provided for reference only.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 25
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

APPENDIX II

Properties of typical facing materials for sandwich panel construction.

FACING MATERIAL TYPICAL MODULUS OF POISSON'S TYPICAL CURED TYPICAL WEIGHT


STRENGTH ELASTICITY RATIO PLY THICKNESS PER PLY
Tension/Compression Tension/Compression µ mm kg/m2
MPa GPa

Epoxy UD CARBON
tape (0°) 2000 / 1300 130 / 115 0.25 0.125 0.19
60% volume fraction

Epoxy UD GLASS
tape (0°) 1100 / 900 43 / 42 0.28 0.125 0.25
55% volume fraction

Epoxy WOVEN CARBON


(G793-5HS) 800 / 700 70 / 60 0.05 0.30 0.45
55% volume fraction

Epoxy WOVEN ARAMID


(285K-4HS 500 / 150 30 / 31 0.20 0.20 0.27
60% volume fraction

Epoxy WOVEN GLASS


(7781-8HS) 600 / 550 20 / 17 0.13 0.25 0.47
50% volume fraction

Phenolic WOVEN GLASS


(7781-8HS) 400 / 360 20 / 17 0.13 0.25 0.47
55% volume fraction

ALUMINIUM Alloy Av. Yield Av. 70 0.33 0.50 1.35


2024 T3 270
5251 H24 150
6061 T6 240

STEEL carbon Av. Yield Av. 205 0.30 0.5 4.15


1006 285
1017 340

Exterior PLYWOOD Fir 30 / 35 Av. 9 0.1 12.7 6.3

Tempered
HARDWOOD Teak 110 / 40 Av. 12 0.1 12.7 8.5

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 26
APPENDIX III

Summary of Formulae

BEAM (pages 12 to 13)

Bending Stiffness = D = Ef tf h2 b where h = tf + tC


2
Shear Stiffness = S = bhGC where GC = GL or GW

Deflection = d = Kb Pl3 (bending) + KS Pl (shear)


D S

Facing Stress = sf = M where M is from page 11


h tf b

Core Stress = tC = F where F is from page 11


hb

PLATE (pages 14 to 17)

Plate Coefficient = i) b ; ii) R = GL ; iii) V = p² Ef tf h


a GW 2b2 GW l

Deflection = d = 2K1 q b4 l
Ef tf h2

Facing Stress = sf = K2 q b2
ht

Core Shear = tC = K3 q b
h

Local Compression = sC = P = q x A (NB: also applicable to Beams)


A A

END LOADING (pages 18 to 19)

Facing Stress = sf = P where P = q x b if applicable


2 tf b

Panel Buckling = Pb = p² D where D is as per beam


l2 + p ² D
GC h b

Shear Crimping = Pb = tC GC b

Skin Wrinkling = sCR = 0.5 [GC EC Ef]1/3

Intra Cell Buckling = sCR = 2 Ef t f 2

The above formulae assume symetrical items, with thin facings of the same skin material and thickness, and core relatively much
less stiff than skins.

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 27
HexWebTM HONEYCOMB SANDWICH DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Further reading:

ZENKERT, D. - An Introduction to Sandwich Construction


Emas Publishing, London (1997)

BITZER, T. - Honeycomb Technology


Chapman & Hall, London (1997)

HEXCEL COMPOSITES 28