Here is a link to a manufacture of honeycomb panels:
I am not sure if they would be a useful resource or not.
They make a wide range of panels, from many different materials.
They do not currently serve the printing / display industry specifically, so they may not have the perfect solution in hand, but they are likely to be willing to explore some options.
Their panels should be rigid, and durable and can be built for exterior use. The main green aspect is that the panels would use minimal materials in their manufacture - they contain a lot of air. The company also says their production operations are carbon neutral.
Manufacturing Team Leader/Senior Engineer
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
University of Minnesota
Helping Minnesota Businesses Maximize Resource Efficiency, Prevent Pollution and Reduce Costs.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Johnson, Sara
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:10 PM
Cc: Perelli, Vince
Subject: Assistance for NH printer/manufacturer of displays
Posted on behalf of a colleague:
Greetings P2 Techies:
We need your assistance. This one is pretty tough. A very proactive company recently reached out to us for some assistance in helping them to further reduce their already small environmental footprint. They are a leading national firm providing display solutions, from in-house graphics design and production, to a broad line of display hardware to turn-key project and program management solutions.
They are currently interested in testing alternative printable and manufacturable materials. Specifically, they are looking for a board with properties similar to Sintra (Komacell) expanded PVC. These are:
1) Relatively dense to cut drill and router cleanly;
2) Non-hydrophyllic; and
3) Provides a clean surface to accept printing without absorbing ink dramatically.
Right now, they have a 35% post-consumer waste cardboard, which is excellent for “disposable” printing, but is not good for exterior or long-term/abusive use. They also have a 35% post-industrial recycled waste styrene which works well for in-store signage or for projects where the graphic can flex or can be supported on 4 sides. They use a wood/PVC blended product (Gatorfom) which is rigid and resists impact, but is not good for unsupported lengths over 40' and it’s highly hydrophyllic. Additionally, they already use a composite aluminum/PVC sheet, virgin steel sheet, and virgin aluminum sheet .
Apparently, they are looking for a source of recycled Sintra or a similar product. They are very interested in getting away from PVC products, but they require the properties listed above. We've checked - they already know about the "Eco-Flexx" product. Per the company, "It prints beautifully for outdoor banners. It is OK for indoors, but not good enough for display-grade and museum-grade applications.
FYI -- they are already members of the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association. Basically what their industry says is “Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is recycled." We are told that Medium Density Fiberboard is sawdust, so it absorbs moisture and apparently prints poorly, etc. Great for cabinets, lousy for graphics. They are also members of PINE - Printing Industries of New England. They got some useful information there on highly-recycled card stock. They don't appear to be up on the latest for plastics as a printed product. The silk-screen industry hasn't been particularly helpful as a resource for alternatives.
See -- This is the problem with working with a proactive company -- they've basically taken the wind out of our P2 sails! Any and all assistance and leads are greatly appreciated.
Pollution Prevention Program
NH Department of Environmental Services