Light shining through a section of honeycomb core board
A cross-section of honeycomb core board

Honeycomb Board: What is it & How to Use it

We’ve been a leading manufacturer of honeycomb paper products for over 65 years and were actually one of the first innovators with this amazing technology. Built well and used correctly, honeycomb board can be used for everything from aeroplane parts to bespoke product packaging – but what exactly is it and how can you use it?

What is honeycomb core board?

The bees certainly knew what they were doing when they invented honeycomb – we simply took some inspiration from nature. The hexagon shape tessellates perfectly to create an incredibly strong structure. Honeycomb core, in essence, uses tessellated paper hexagons sandwiched between two layers of card.

This means that significantly less material needs to be used in order to keep the same compressive strength. A beneficial byproduct of this is that you can make something stronger, cheaper, and much lighter. We go into a lot of detail about how our Ultra Board works here, but the principle is the same for all honeycomb core board.

The end result is rigid boards of various thickness that are really good at resisting compression and folding.

Cardboard, for example, does a reasonable job of resisting compression along its axis – it’s why it does a reasonably good job in the case of cardboard boxes. But if there’s any weakness in the box (for example, if there’s a tear or a fold) then it falls apart really quickly.

In order to get any structural stability from cardboard, however, you need to increase the mass significantly. This makes a heavy, bulky, and hard to manage material.

Honeycomb core, on the other hand, is easily able to be cut and slotted together to create almost any shape or structure. It’s not terribly good at resisting water, of course, but then it’s not the go-to material for fountain displays.

What honeycomb core is, is a sustainable, easily customisable, and dependable solution for everything from product packaging to construction.

 A close-up of the structure of honeycomb core board
How to use honeycomb core board

The best way to use honeycomb core board is when you need something structurally sound that you can also print on. Because it’s paper-based, printing on it’s easy and cutting it to create custom structures is even easier.

Think of honeycomb core board as much lighter wood sheets that are a whole lot easier to work with. You can create, for example, relief cuts with a sharp craft knife and fold the board at various angles without having to work with two different boards.

It’s just as easy to create slotted holes and stick-out parts to go into those holes (what the woodworkers would call “mortise & tenon” joints) so that you can easily cut patterns, flat pack the design, and assemble it in a matter of seconds wherever you need to assemble it.

These are some of the common uses, but the material also lends itself to being a ‘sculptable’ material. You can easily laminate layers on top of each other, to create a lightweight yet rigid base that can be whittled, cut, painted, and covered however you like!

Need to find a solution?

Want to find out more about our honeycomb core board? If you have a question or a problem, we’d love to help solve it. Let’s talk.

4th September 2023