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14th September 2017, Stamford, СT

Hexcel launches fast-curing HexPly M77HF prepreg

Hexcel is launching new, fast-curing HexPly M77HF epoxy prepreg in response to the ongoing need to drive down the cost of manufacturing advanced composite industrial parts. This high-flow resin system was developed for a quick three-minute cure cycle using low pressure processing techniques such as cello-wrapping, simple presses, bladder moulding and vacuum-only pressure. Compared to standard epoxy prepregs cure cycles can be reduced by up to 90%, the manufacturer reports.

HexPly M77HF is an expansion of Hexcel’s range of fast reactivity, low tack, high toughness and long out-life resins, providing a prepreg that is specifically suited for processing parameters that require additional resin flow for surface quality, compaction or low voids. HexPly M77HF is also said to have good resin transparency, provide excellent surface quality (without pinholes), and can be supplied with black pigmented resin.

Hexcel at Advanced Engineering 2016. © Inside Composites

The typical cure cycle in a press is three minutes at 300°F (149°C) with a minimum of 85 psi (6 bar).  If autoclave curing is preferred the recommended cycle is a ramp up of 2-5°F per minute to 300°F (149°C) with a minimum 85 psi (6 bar). Depending on the tooling design and material a dwell may be required.

Other benefits of HexPly M77HF are a long out-life at room temperature for a fast-curing system of up to 30 days when stored in a sealed bag, or 10 days once the bag has been opened. The prepreg is low tack, which eases processing and handling, and has a high Tg of 130°C, the company explains.

Typical applications for HexPly M77HF are sports equipment such as golf shafts, bicycle components, hockey sticks, arrow shafts and fishing rods, as well as automotive parts, including racing car components and aftermarket add-ons. “Many other industrial components, including prosthetics and braces, can also benefit from this new product,” says the company.

www.hexcel.com

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