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7th November 2018, Stamford, CT

Hexcel’s solutions on show at Composites Europe

Hexcel will once again demonstrate its technologies at Composites Europe next week, with a focus on solutions for automotive, energy and marine markets.

Hexcel’s solutions for automotive applications address both performance requirements and production efficiencies. Hexcel is working with tooling supplier Alpex, the Institute of Polymer Product Engineering (IPPE), Johannes Kepler University Linz, and machinery supplier Engel to demonstrate that automotive transmission cross members can be made efficiently and effectively from composites.

Cross bracing application. © Hexcel

Using smart tooling, more than 100 prototypes have been produced so far from Hexcel’s HexMC-i moulding compound to validate these safety-critical parts, one of which will be displayed at the show. Macro-scale tests have demonstrated that this technology achieves the same fatigue performance as aluminium forged parts and provides additional weight-saving and function integration benefits.

HexMC-i is a fast curing high-performance moulding material, suitable for the series production of complex shaped parts and providing excellent mechanical properties. Hexcel’s HexMC-i 2000 carbon fibre/epoxy moulding compound has been successfully used by Audi to manufacture a high-performance engine cross brace, which will be on display at the show.

Hexcel’s marine display will include a Diam 24 mast section made by ADH Inotec, and a section of a 42m long wing mast for a multihull race yacht made by Lorima. Both masts are manufactured with HexPly carbon fibre prepreg. Hexcel’s offering to boat builders also includes woven reinforcements, multiaxial fabrics, honeycomb and adhesives. Hexcel’s HexTow IM2 carbon fibre is the highest performing industrial grade Intermediate Modulus carbon fibre approved for use in the America’s Cup competition.

Hexcel’s innovations for the energy sector include HexPly surface finishing prepregs for wind turbine blades and components. These provide a tough and durable ready-to-paint blade surface without the use of gel coats. Elimination of the coating process results in shorter production cycles, the company reports.

Hexcel will also exhibit a wind blade section showing the various carbon and glass materials that Hexcel supplies for this industry. These include HexPly M79 prepregs optimised for low temperature cure and fast cycle times, HiMax dry non-crimp fabrics optimized for infusion technologies, and Hexcel’s cured carbon products for load bearing applications.

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