Open the catalog to page 3 HexWeb Honeycomb Attributes and Properties Hexcel has produced more than varieties of honeycomb over the past 50 years. Today, HexWeb honeycomb is available in a wide range of materials and cell configurations, and additional products are continually developed in response to new uses for honeycomb sandwich construction. Solid Metal Relative Stiffness 7 times more rigid 37 times more rigid! HW HC Guide v.
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Zemke, Jr, age 75, inventor of the aluminum honeycomb ski, died February 17, after a long struggle with cancer. Zemke was a an Air Force brat, son of a fighter wing commander. He learned to ski at Garmisch, and during a determined but undistinguished career as a racer and coach, made many friends in ski racing, including Dick Dorworth, Spider Sabich and the McCoy boys, Gary, Dennis and Carl. There, he engaged a trio of professors to help find a livelier, stronger material for ski cores than the plywood then in general use.
The team tried laminating fiberglass to aluminum honeycomb, a very light material used mainly for floors and panels in large jet aircraft. The main problem was how to adhere the fiberglass sheets to the tiny gluing surface presented by the thin edges of the honeycomb cells.
The project went dormant for a year while Zemke served in Korea with his National Guard unit. Eventually the group built a few pairs that skied well — well enough to interest the McCoys and their father, Mammoth Mountain founder Dave McCoy.
Zemke bought the bulk of his materials — aluminum honeycomb and pre-impregnated fiberglass — from the Hexcel Corp. The lively, featherweight skis proved a huge hit among slalom racers. Within a few years Zemke was able to move Hexcel ski production to a modern facility in Reno where production may have peaked at 12, pairs a year.
Because of the cost of materials, the skis were expensive to make. In , Hexcel Corp. Zemke stayed on as product engineer and factory manager. Zemke went on to a consulting career. Among his clients was Hexcel Corp.
Creator of Hexcel honeycomb skis
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