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honeycomb panels

honeycomb panels

honeycomb panels

Hi, new here.

We are looking at FAA certified honeycomb panels that typically sell for ~$500 in small volumes.

Is anyone familiar with the price that large players like Boeing pay for the same types of panels?

Is it a 10%-20% discount type of situation or is there a substantial difference like 50% or more lower price?


RE: honeycomb panels

Are you looking to buy or sell panels?

RE: honeycomb panels

I am trying to analyze the market for a group considering to sell panels. Thanks

RE: honeycomb panels

Aerospace products must go through a process called "qualification" to a specification. The aerospace company will design a part and write specifications to define materials and processes to be used. They will pay to qualify the first vendor and perhaps a second source. After that, vendors who want to become suppliers must pay for the qualification themselves. The qualification process can be very expensive and lengthy (as in years). This creates a very high barrier to entry into the market for new suppliers. It can be very lucrative to be the first and preferably sole qualified source for a product.

MC Gill is one of the biggest suppliers of sandwich panels.

RE: honeycomb panels

And the big OEMs will insist on long term often life of program favorable pricing, with quantities tied to a/p production rates. Then they will come back in a year or two and want another 10%+ price reduction, repeated again the next year …….

RE: honeycomb panels

I'm sure Boeing negotiate a significant volume discount, but to know you'd need either Boeing or their preferred panel manufacturer to tell you, and I'm willing to bet that neither will say much (certainly nothing you could reference).

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: honeycomb panels


Dang... SWC beat to the punch...

IF You are inquiring about simple aerospace-quality flat-HC panels... from thin crushed-core up-to heavy-duty [cargo] floor 'standard' panels... aluminum-aluminum-aluminum, aluminum-composite-aluminum or composite-composite-composite... and laminated composite-face-sheets for cargo-bay side-wall-liners... two manufacturer's come to mind... although there are many other OEMs.

NOTE1: Panels made-to-order will cost more than standard-panels made in bulk for rapid shipment.
NOTE2: These [2] companies have convenient materials/strength/performance [temperature, chemical, etc] data for the panels, so qualification/procurement is made simpler.

MC Gill https://www.thegillcorp.com/
Hexcell https://www.hexcel.com/

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: honeycomb panels

Thanks everyone

I am not from aerospace, but trying to figure out some basics.

In particular, is anyone is using those cheap panels from Alibaba / China. There are so many that I would guess at least a few are FAA approved?

If not, then as stated, large manufacturers like Boeing will just negotiate a significant discount, but not make it themselves?


RE: honeycomb panels

why don't Boeing make composite panels ?

it is specialised manufacture. I suspect that Boeing (and other OEMs) made their own panels before there was a sufficient market for them.
Then I suspect that some of the Boeing engineers figured "we can make a business out of this", or else some "smart" entrepreneur figured "I can make money out of this".
So Boeing had the choice to make panels in-house or to offload/out-source.

I suspect that each change of manufacturing org-chart changes this decision ...
"we should out-source, they can do this cheaper than we can" or
"we should bring this back in-house, and stop being held hostage to these outsiders".

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: honeycomb panels

For any one that might get lumbered with an attempt to use commercial honey comb panel in an aerospace environment.
A few years ago,I inherited a project to make design and certify an incubator stretcher rig for an air ambulance. Some bright spark had decided to use commercial honey comb panel (which he had, had it tested to get B value design allowabes) for the base, it was a total failure in practice. While it satisfactory strength wise, the soft cores and skins meant it damaged easily and the potted insert strength was well down. Manufacturing treated like normal aerospace panel and discovered the glue used between the core and the skins had a melting point less than that of the potting compound (they discovered this while attempting to remove a potted insert causing a significant delaimination).

RE: honeycomb panels

If you are “not from Aerospace” then you likely have no clue about FAA certification. And no, generally panels bought off the internet from China or anywhere are not used.

RE: honeycomb panels

I am just doing a competitive study.
People that I work for are interested in a honeycomb venture, and they are very familiar with FAA PMA etc.

I need to consider whether any of the numerous Chinese panels are FAA approved.
Also the rough price points that large US manufacturers buy at.

So any guidance would be appreciated for standard flat panels and curved ones.
Thank you

RE: honeycomb panels

For aircraft costs (operating & maintenance) the go to source seems to be aircraft commerce Magazine (https://www.aircraft-commerce.com/), I am not sure if their analysis extends to parts / material supply pricing's.

RE: honeycomb panels

One other manufacturer besides the "big two" mentioned above that is trying to make inroads into the US market for aerospace is Euro Composites.

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