Core Materials

The largest market for core is still aerospace — where high-performance aluminum and aramid honeycomb cores are used in aircraft primary structure, as well as in interior panels and floors — honeycombs, foam and balsa wood play a significant role in structural parts for the marine, wind energy and transportation markets. Lightweight, low in density and available at relatively low cost, core materials provide the foundation for incredibly strong and stiff sandwich structures, when placed between skins made with reinforcing fibers and resin. Given the right combination of core, composite skins and adhesive, composite manufacturers can deliver cost-effective sandwich structures to customers in virtually any non-aerospace market where high stiffness and low weight are design priorities.


Composite designers determined early on that sandwiching a low-density, lightweight core material between thin face sheets can dramatically increase a laminate’s stiffness with little added weight. A sandwich structure is cost-effective because the relatively low-cost core replaces more expensive composite reinforcement material and can be cocured with the skins in one-shot processes like resin infusion. And the stiffer but lighter sandwich panel requires less supporting structure than a solid laminate.

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