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Non Beeswax Foundation and Comb

Various non standard methods have been employed in the manufacture of foundation or artificial honeycomb.

In some of these, lower cost was the objective. In others the objective was greater physical strength for high speed extracting.

Another possible reason is the ability of plastic materials to withstand or discourage attack by wax moths.
The methods fall into several categories:-

Lamination
In 1857, the very first attempts at foundation were based on cloth or paper sheets impregnated with beeswax and passed through embossing rollers. This has been taken further with plastic and aluminium core sheets with adhering wax layers, again passed through conventional rollers.
Alternative material
Various waxes and alloys of wax have been used to make foundation, and versions that were a sandwich of different waxes have been used to make a '3 ply' embossed foundation. Resins and plastics have also been used, but these materials require to be moulded rather that embossed.
Artificial Comb
complete or partial depth combs have been made from plastic and also from aluminium. This has been taken to the extreme of moulding a complete comb including the frame so that no assembly is even required. There is also the ANP comb which has two moulded halves that fit together with a central bakelite midrib sheet to form a complete frame and comb unit (I believe these only exist in German National 'DIN' standard size).
Grid reinforced foundation is an alternative to wiring foundation or wiring the frames.

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Written... 22 March 2002
Updated... 02, 13 April 2002