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24th February 2020, Stamford, CN

Hexcel’s new composite technologies for automotive

© Hexcel.© Hexcel.

Hexcel will display an array of new composite technologies for the automotive sector at JEC World 2020, including ultra-fast curing E-Coat compatible prepregs and hybrid components, combining epoxy prepregs with a range of other materials.

Side sill demonstrator with self-adhesive ultra-rapid curing prepreg reinforcement

Responding to the challenge set by automotive OEM’s and Tier 1 suppliers to deliver a prepreg system that can be fully integrated into existing processes, Hexcel has developed an innovative self-adhesive ultra-rapid (<30 seconds) curing, epoxy prepreg system that can be bonded to metals without an additional film adhesive layer. This breakthrough in technology, which is fully compatible with industry-standard E-Coat processing, does not require secondary tooling and processing lines since localized prepreg reinforcement patches can now be added to metal parts in a single step.

“Metal composite hybrid structures are a growing trend in automotive design, helping to address future crash test requirements, particularly for battery protection in electric cars,” Hexcel emphasises. “The hybrid part on display at JEC World delivers significant weight savings as well as increased energy absorption and impact protection for passenger safety. Hexcel’s HexPly ultra-fast cure self-adhesive prepreg cures and bonds to metals, including aluminum or oily steel, in a highly efficient one-step process.”

Hybrid wood fiber and carbon fiber seat back

Hexcel has recently supported NaCa Systems, a Tier 1 supplier of natural fiber composite automotive interior parts, to produce a sports car seat back, with hybrid wood fiber and carbon fiber construction. The part on display uses a rapid press molding process to combine Hexcel’s HexPly® M77CS prepregs with NaCa Systems’ thermoset wooden fiber mats that are derived from wood industry waste streams.

HexPly® M77CS is a fast-curing epoxy prepreg that enables automotive components to be press-cured in two minutes at 150°C. The HexPly® woven carbon fiber is used as the outer surface of the seat back, reinforcing the wood fiber structure and providing a stunning aesthetic finish. 

Both innovations will be on display on the Hexcel booth at JEC World 2020, Hall 5, Booth J41.

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