Honeycomb Packaging – It’s the Bee’s Knees!

Looking for something lightweight, cost effective and easily recyclable that provides cushioning and impact protection? You might want to consider honeycomb packaging. Honeycomb packaging is a paper-based product that utilizes two paper facings that are glued to a paper core. It’s like corrugated board in that regard, but instead of having a wavy medium between the facings like corrugated, it has a core that is constructed in the shape of honeycomb, just like the hexagonal shape from a beehive. It is the core that gives honeycomb packaging it’s unique and versatile properties.

honeycomb packagingHoneycomb packaging comes in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses and strengths. The largest sheets can be up to 96” long and 48” wide and the thickness can vary from a half inch up to 4 inches.  However, most of the time honeycomb is cut into smaller sections for specific applications and the most common thickness is 1 to 2 inches. There are also adjustments you can make to the cell size of the honeycomb.  The smaller the cell, the more paper is used in the core and the stronger the honeycomb is, and vice versa. The thickness of the facings can also be increased or decreased depending on how much puncture resistance is needed. There are secondary processes that can be done during manufacture to customize honeycomb too. It can be slit through one of the facings and its core to make 90-degree angles, commonly used for corners.  It can also be “cookie cut” for multi lengths where both facings are slit, but the core isn’t. This allows you to break the honeycomb cleanly at the cookie cut without the need to manually cut it. Finally, anti-abrasion, tacky coatings and pressure sensitive adhesives can be applied for scuff or slip resistance and fastening.

Honeycomb packaging has a wide range of applications. One of the best uses is as an alternative to foam blocks. You can get just as good support and protection with honeycomb as you can using sheets or blocks of foam. Plus, it’s easier to recycle when you are done using it and it’s made from a renewable resource. Honeycomb can also be used as an alternative to wood pallets. You can glue thick blocks of honeycomb to the bottom of a sheet of honeycomb and you have a pallet with fork access. Those are just a couple of the applications. With a little knowledge and creativity of this versatile packaging material, the possibilities are endless.