Aluminium Honeycomb

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Aluminium Honeycomb
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Aluminium is generally renowned for being a spectacularly lightweight material. If you pick up this sample it’s hard to believe it is made of metal. Its honeycomb structure also contributes to its light weight. The geometry of the honeycomb, which occurs naturally in bones and beehives, gives it very good stiffness and resistance to compression. If you try and squeeze this sample in any direction you will see that it’s remarkably strong considering that the aluminium is not much thicker than kitchen foil. This is also makes it particularly resource efficient; because each of the tessellating hexagons is hollow, the honeycomb uses less material for the same function, and also gains heat- and sound-insulating properties.  

Aluminium honeycombs were first developed for the aerospace industry for use in plane floor and wing panels. Although the initial energy required to make virgin aluminium is huge, this can be offset by fuel savings gained by using lightweight aluminium honeycomb in an aeroplane’s construction instead of much heavier steel. Aluminium is also naturally resistant to corrosion and moisture, anti-fungal and fire-retardant, so it is ideal for an application where the reliability of the material is really important. It also transmits conducted heat and reflects radiant heat, making it a favourite material for building insulation and other construction products. 

Sample ID: 51


BAE Systems

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