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26th February 2018, Stamford, CT

Hexcel targets aerospace applications at JEC World

Hexcel will display an array of product innovations for customer applications in aerospace, automotive, wind energy and marine markets at next week’s JEC World 2018, taking place in Paris. Hexcel’s banner at the exhibit hall entrance features the Airbus H160 helicopter and A350 XWB aircraft, both with carbon fibre livery to acknowledge the high Hexcel composites content in both programmes.

Hexcel’s reinforcements, prepregs, adhesives and honeycomb materials were selected for the H160’s composite fuselage structures and main rotor blades, contributing to the lightweight fuel-saving design and performance optimisation. Airbus has loaned Hexcel an H160 Blue Edge blade to display on the booth.

Third H160 prototype with carbon livery unveiled. © Hexcel Corporation

In the Planet Aerospace area at JEC, Daher and Hexcel will jointly display an aircraft spar manufactured from HexPly M56 prepreg. Hexcel’s Neil Parker and Daher R&T Director Dominique Bailly will give a joint presentation focusing on the materials used and the benefits for the finished part.

Aerospace promotions

Among the aerospace promotions at Hexcel’s booth are carbon-reinforced 3D printed parts, made from Hexcel’s HexAM additive manufacturing technology that uses PEKK ultra-high-performance polymers.

Aircraft engines benefit from a number of Hexcel technologies that will be promoted at JEC 2018, including HexShield honeycomb that provides high temperature resistance in aircraft engine nacelles. By inserting a thermally resistant material into honeycomb cells, Hexcel provides a core product with unique heat-shielding capabilities that allows for the potential re-use of material after a fire event. Another honeycomb innovation from Hexcel is Acousti-Cap broadband noise-reducing honeycomb that significantly improves acoustic absorption in aircraft engine nacelles. Rounding off the aircraft engine exhibits is a CTi fan blade for new generation lightweight turbofan engines from Rolls-Royce, manufactured from Hexcel’s HexPly M91 high toughness and impact-resistant epoxy prepreg.

Hexcel’s HiTape and HiMax dry carbon reinforcements that were developed for the automated lay-up of preforms for resin-infused aerospace structures will be promoted at the show.

Hexcel is also introducing its new range of HiFlow advanced liquid resins for aerospace structures manufactured by liquid moulding technologies. Hexcel’s range of high performance adhesives has expanded following the company’s acquisition of Structil last October. Hexcel is relaunching the acquired products under the new HexBond brand name at JEC World.

Automotive promotions

Hexcel’s automotive promotions at JEC World 2018 include a new prepreg for composite leaf springs, HexPly M901. In contrast to steel leaf springs used for suspension on vans, trucks and SUVs, newer composite versions offer many advantages including weight savings of up to 70%, high corrosion resistance, optimized system integration and superior performance, the company reports.

Hexcel has recently acquired state-of-the-art simulation technology that accurately predicts how HiMax non-crimp fabrics will drape in a mould. Working in collaboration with Nottingham University Hexcel has created a car seat shell, for which the material selection was optimised using this new drape simulation technology. Visitors to Hexcel’s stand at JEC will see an on-screen demonstration that illustrates how the simulation tool operates.

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

Marine applications

Hexcel’s product offering for customers in the marine industry has expanded following the acquisition of Formax in 2016 and Structil in 2017. At JEC World, Hexcel will promote its enhanced portfolio of carbon fibres, prepregs, woven reinforcements and multiaxial fabrics for builders of racing catamarans and luxury yachts.

Marine customers have supplied a number of parts for display. These include part of a Diam 24 yacht mast made by ADH Inotec from Hexcel’s HexPly M79 fast curing, low temperature cure prepreg.

Wind energy sector

Hexcel’s innovations for wind energy include Polyspeed pultruded laminates for load-carrying elements in wind blades. These continuous cross-section profiles, made from a polyurethane matrix reinforced with unidirectional carbon fibre, are designed to provide consistently high mechanical properties, including high stiffness, fracture toughness and shear strength, combined with low weight and durability.

Visitors to Hexcel’s stand will see a 2m diameter coil of pultruded carbon laminate that contains 255m of material in a single roll. This technology is said to offer an economical way of reinforcing large-scale composite structures such as wind turbine blades. Hexcel will also launch its surface finishing prepreg for wind turbine blades and components.

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