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Hexcel at JEC 2007

12 April 2007

Hexcel’s stand at this year’s JEC Composites show showcased new product and application developments to meet the greater than ever performance demands on advanced composite materials.

Hexcel’s new aircraft noise absorption product, HexWeb Acousti-Cap, won the JEC Group’s “Award Winning Innovation” 2007 competition in the Aeronautics category. The award was be presented to Hexcel and its partners: Spirit AeroSystems; Alenia Aermacchi, S.p.A.; MRA Systems Inc.; and the University of Cincinnati; at a ceremony during the JEC Composites Show. HexWeb Acousti-Cap consists of a non-metallic permeable cap material embedded into honeycomb core to create an acoustic septum. Hexcel officially launched HexWeb Acousti-Cap at the JEC Composites Show by displaying a large Acousti-CapTM demonstrator built by Spirit AeroSystems in the JEC Award showcase area.

Exhibits on the Hexcel stand at JEC included the JEC Award winning Cosmic Carbone Ultimate mass-produced bicycle wheel in 100% carbon, manufactured by the MAVIC Division of Salomon SA using Hexcel HexPly M10 prepreg. This all-carbon bicycle wheel is produced in a one shot manufacturing process with a short manufacturing cycle, allowing short delivery times (15 days compared to the usual four to six months) and reduced production costs.

Another exhibit on Hexcel stand was the Lamborghini Murcielago roadster composite engine frame – a JEC Award finalist, manufactured by ATR Group using HexPly prepregs from Hexcel. The engine frame is an aesthetic, hollow, one-piece structural part with high service-temperature resistance. The lack of node bonds provides very high mechanical performance for a composite reticular structure. Autoclave moulding technology was used with a prepreg hand lay-up process, using two different epoxy matrices from Hexcel to best meet the overall requirements for stiffness, heat resistance and aesthetic appeal. A new, improved lamination technology was used to increase production rates and industrialize the manufacturing process as much as possible. A final painting step gave the right surface finish. The absence of node bonding and the industrialisation of consumable materials give cost reductions.

Hexcel launched other new products at the JEC show:HexPly XF3 is a new surfacing film that provides an excellent surface finish for applications requiring performance and aesthetic appeal, such as the bodywork of performance cars. Redux 870 is a two-component liquid shim that was developed in support of Airbus requirements for future aircraft programmes. Hexcel also launched Polyspeed Grid Laminates, woven glass fibre epoxy laminates with an open grid structure, supplied in roll form in widths from 38mm to 1270mm.