With sustainability firmly on the global agenda, finding ways to make warehouse storage, logistics and packaging ‘greener’ and more efficient has become a priority for many businesses. One solution that can positively impact all three areas is investing in more sustainable shipping pallets, shipping crates, warehouse storage solutions, and packaging. This is where honeycomb technology comes in.
Inspired by nature, products that use honeycomb technology feature hexagonal cells that mirror those found inside beehives. This helps to create a smart material that has the ability to offer a unique combination of weight-bearing strength and easy portability due to its lightweight nature. Honeycomb materials made of paper are also typically 100% recyclable and can be used to make shipping pallets and boxes, protective packaging, warehouse storage solutions and much more.
However, how is this increasingly popular material made? Are honeycomb pallets, boxes and packaging solutions effective? And what are the advantages of this smart material? Read on to find answers to all of these questions and more.
How is honeycomb cardboard made?
Paper honeycomb core is made by gluing together separate bands of paper to create a collection of continuous hexagonal (honeycomb shaped) cells. These cells are then typically backed on top and bottom with flat, thicker pieces of kraft paper or card, creating a sandwich effect.
This process creates a robust structure with an impressive strength-to-weight ratio which can be explained by the I-beam principle. This is to say, while the horizontal pieces of flat outer paper act as flanges to resist bending movements, the vertically placed honeycomb structure acts to resist additional stress and provide a cushioning, shock-absorbing quality. This principle is commonly applied in large scale civil engineering projects.
What are honeycomb pallets and shipping crates?
Honeycomb pallets and shipping crates, such as all of those in PALLITE™’s pallet range, are a more sustainable alternative to traditional wooden or plastic pallets or crates. When compared to traditional alternatives, honeycomb products can weigh up to 85% less, meaning they are not only made from more eco-friendly and sustainable materials, they also have the potential to reduce the weight of shipments and save businesses money in the process.
As we have explained above, as well as being sustainable and lightweight, honeycomb structures also benefit from an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. This is an ideal attribute for logistics. Indeed, PALLITE™’s standard pallets, for example, are robust enough to hold up to 750kg in open beam racking.
What is honeycomb paper packaging?
As the name suggests, honeycomb paper packaging is simply packaging designed for products or large shipments that uses sustainable honeycomb structures typically made from recycled paper.
As with the other honeycomb cardboard products, packaging that makes use of this technology can offer a unique combination of strength and sustainability, whilst being extremely portable and lightweight.
An environmentally-friendly alternative to protective plastic packaging, foam inserts, bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts, honeycomb paper packaging can provide similar levels of protection whilst reducing waste, thanks to its ability to cushion and absorb shock using only reusable and recyclable materials.
Advantages of honeycomb cell structures
Products utilising this honeycomb structure technology have a wide variety of uses in many different industries including packaging and warehouse storage bins.
Cardboard and paper-based honeycomb products, including shipping pallets, boxes and packaging, can be reusable and are 100% recyclable. These products are typically manufactured from a high proportion of recycled paper and only use water-based glues and adhesives.
Due to the ‘hollow’ cellular nature of the honeycomb cells, less paper is needed to produce these products when compared to traditional cardboard and corrugated paper board packaging. All of this adds up to packaging, warehouse storage and logistics products that have the potential to reduce a brand’s carbon footprint in the long term.
Due to the smart design of honeycomb cardboard structures the I-beam principle enables such products to be, pound for pound, stronger than steel.
Unlike traditional wooden, steel and plastic warehouse, logistics and packaging solutions, paper-based honeycomb structures are extremely lightweight. This can bring about savings when it comes to reduced shipping weight without compromising on the protection of the products.
If you are looking for a more sustainable and cost-effective warehouse, packaging and logistics solution for your business, contact the PALLITE™ team who will be able to advise on the best option for your needs.