A Sustainable Approach to Development Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites as Honeycomb Core Structure

Torbalı M. S., Aras C., Korkmaz B., Karaca E., Yazıcı M.

2nd. INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDIES CONGRESS (IGSCONG'22), İstanbul, Turkey, 8 - 11 June 2022, vol.1, pp.717-718

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.717-718
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Due to environmental concerns and regulatory constraints, research on lightweight materials has been prioritized to reduce carbon footprint. New regulations in the vehicle industry, for example, have made it mandatory to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 59 g/km by 2030. Otherwise, the automobile makers will face legal consequences. On the other hand, a limited vehicle range is one of the most significant barriers to the automobile industry's move from internal combustion engines to hybrid and electric cars. Transporting the driver consumes 1% of the fuel energy utilized by the vehicles. The vehicle's weight uses 67-75 percent of the remaining fuel energy. As a result, automakers have been investigating the use of lighter vehicle materials to address the vehicle range issue.


The light-weighting strategy of the vehicle is the best-known solution to both environmental concerns and vehicle range limitation problems. In order to reduce the mass of the vehicle, low-density aluminum, magnesium, and composite materials are used instead of iron alloys. Today, sandwich composite materials have become essential in automotive, space, aviation, energy, and construction due to their light structure and high mechanical strength.


The structure of composite sandwich materials consists of a light core part and at least one surface layer that adhered to its core part. The surface layers provide the panel flexural rigidity and strength. The core part provides the transmission of shear and axial loads on the surface layers. The core part also contributes to the bending stiffness, out-of-plane shear, and compressive strength of the panel. The core geometry of the sandwich can be honeycomb, lattice, corrugated or cellular. There is a high demand for the using honeycomb core, primarily to provide minimum material usage, low material cost, and high strength. In addition, honeycomb cores provide an advantageous feature to the sandwich composite in terms of mechanical performance in that they support the surface bidirectionally against the load. Generally, aluminum, polymer, and Nomex are commonly selected for honeycomb core production. Sandwich composites can be preferred as an alternative way to reduce material costs in application areas due to their features of structurally low densities and lightness advantages. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in selecting new core materials that are lightweight and cost-effective but with high performance.


With environmental concerns, legalization of low-emission materials, and increasing consumer awareness of global warming, there has been a great interest in developing fiber-reinforced composites in lightweight composite materials. In particular, fiber-reinforced composites have advantageous properties, such as their high strength/weight ratio.


Today, the prevention of waste and the reduction of undesirable effects on the environment is an important issue that is emphasized within the sustainability approach. The reuse of waste fibers and by-products resulting from production processes such as the textile industry contributes to sustainable production. In addition to environmental benefits, waste fibers used in this way provide specific mechanical properties (durability and hardness) to the composite for structural applications. The evaluation of these wastes instead of traditional reinforcements such as carbon and glass fibers affects the overall performance of the composites and ensures that more sustainable products are obtained.


Despite many attractive properties, the full potential of such waste fibers is not fully understood. Therefore, a thorough understanding of their structure and morphological behavior for various properties is essential for the use of these reinforcements in high-performance structural composites.


This research aims to create a waste fiber-reinforced polymeric core composite material with a sustainability approach that is comparable to standard composite materials. The compression molding process was employed in this work to create polymeric composite material reinforced with waste fibers in a honeycomb core section. The mechanical performance of the manufactured core material was evaluated.



Keywords: Sustainability, Fiber Reinforced, Polymer Composite, Honeycomb Core, Lightweight



Acknowledgment: This study was carried out within the project supported by Bursa Uludağ University BAP Unit (Project Number: FHIZ-2021-525). Among the authors, Mahmut Sami Torbalı is a scholarship in the TÜBİTAK-BİDEB industrial doctorate program numbered 119C088, Assist. Prof. Dr. Behiye Kormaz is his Ph.D. supervisor, and Prof. Dr. Murat YAZICI is the manager of the 119C088 project. Prof. Yazıcı and Torbalı would like to thank Tübitak and the Project partner organization MEKLAS A.Ş.