- Tech Specs
- Expanding the Block
High performance, unexpanded and unperforated aluminium honeycomb core material made from 5052 grade alloy. Aluminium honeycomb can be used to reduce the weight and increase the stiffness of composite panels in a wide range of applications.
With a 3.2mm cell size and a density of 0.0721g/cm³, this honeycomb is one of the highest specification honeycombs available. It is used in the most demanding motorsport and aerospace applications to create incredibly strong sandwich panels. The smaller cell size creates a stronger, albeit heavier honeycomb. We also supply aluminium honeycomb with 6.4mm and 19.1mm cell sizes.
- The honeycomb cells are nominally standard hexagons. The cell size shown is the measurement between any two opposite sides when correctly expanded.
- We ship all our aluminium honeycomb in unexpanded (block) form. This makes them more cost effective to ship but also ensures that they are delivered undamaged. Specialist equipment is needed to expand the sheet (see "Expanding the Block" tab).
|Plate sheer strength (MPa)||2.34 lengthways|
|Compressive strength (MPa)||3.85|
|Plate sheer modulus (MPa)||482 lengthways|
|Service temp long term max (°C)||120|
Expanding the Aluminium Honeycomb
Important: wear gloves when handling the block.
Typically, aluminium honeycomb is supplied unexpanded as the expanded block is susceptible to damage during transport. Large-scale manufacturing uses specialized machines to expand it, but for smaller applications an alternative method is needed. This guide outlines a simple, manual way to expand the aluminium honeycomb.
You will need two wooden battens, each as wide as the honeycomb sheet and sturdy enough to prevent excessive flexing (2" by 4" wooden battens are ideal). Additionally, you will need a bag of long wood nails. These nails should be long enough to penetrate both the wooden batten and the honeycomb. For cutting the honeycomb, you'll need a steel ruler and a sharp, long-blade Stanley type knife.
Making the Expansion Tools
- Take one of the wooden battens and mark a series of dots along its length, spaced approximately 50mm apart.
- Hammer nails through the marked dots on the batten, ensuring nothing is underneath. The result should be a batten with regularly spaced nails poking through.
- Repeat this process for the second batten, so you have two identical battens with protruding nails.
Expanding the Honeycomb
You will need a flat working surface and an assistant for the expansion process.
- Begin by gently teasing out the first few cells of the honeycomb by hand on a flat surface. Avoid pulling too much at once to prevent kinking. This initial manual expansion provides material for the nails to grip onto without ripping through the edge cells. The sheets are deliberately cut oversize to allow a little waste at each end due to expansion.
- Repeat this process on the other side of the honeycomb.
- With an assistant, insert the batten tools on each side of the honeycomb and slowly apply tension to expand the honeycomb
- If the cells you've teased out by hand start to rip, stop and tease out more cells manually before resuming. Expect some distortion and stretching at the edges as the sheet expands
- Apply gentle but firm tension to expand the honeycomb, keeping the sheet as straight as possible.
Once you're satisfied with the expansion, remove the battens, and your honeycomb is ready for use in your project.
Cutting the Honeycomb
To cut the honeycomb, you'll need a sharp Stanley-type knife and a metal ruler.
- Measure and mark the desired cut on the sheet, using the metal ruler as the cutting guide.
- Start from one side of the planned cut and individually cut through each cell foil from top to bottom using the knife.
- Ensure each foil is fully cut before moving on to the next one to ensure a clean separation without catching or distorting the cells
Note: Avoid attempting to cut across the honeycomb in one pass, as it can tear and distort the cells.
Minimum order value excluding VAT & delivery is £25
What is the cost of delivery?
Because of the huge variation in our orders we have developed a specialised shipping calculator for clients ordering online. Once you fill out your order details and progress through to the online checkout, our calculator will automatically work out the precise shipping cost for you to check before you proceed.
What delivery methods do you use?
We have a selection of couriers suited to the size, weight and type of product you order from us. It is likely we will deliver your goods with a courier service such as Tuffnells, TNT, DHL etc. You can track your order with the shipment number, if you would like us to send you the tracking number for your order please contact us or give us a call and we can track it for you.
If you would like to specify any special delivery instructions these can be entered at the point of ordering or please give us a call once you have placed your order and we will try to accommodate your requests.
- Collection. Once your order is ready for collection, we shall call you to advise. Our collection point is open until 5pm - Monday - Friday.
- Standard Delivery. All of our orders come with standard delivery which is typically a 1-3 working day service.
- In a hurry? We can look into premium delivery services at an extra cost. Give us a call on 01494 449 975 to find out more.
- Installation. If required please get in touch about our installation services and how we can best support you, all with a smile!
See our shipping page for more details.