Hexcel Opens Prepreg Plant Extension in Spain

25 September 2012

Hexcel has officially opened an extension to its prepreg plant in Parla, Spain, doubling capacity at the facility in order to support increasing build rates for the Airbus A350 XWB and legacy programmes.

At Parla, Hexcel manufactures HexPly prepreg tape using Hexcel’s HexTow carbon fibre. Prepregs are fibre-reinforcements that have been pre-impregnated with a resin formulation and are cured using heat and pressure. Hexcel explains that the resulting laminates are exceptionally strong and tough, yet considerably lighter than aluminium. It says that over 50% of the Airbus A350 XWB structure is made from composites and its HexPly M21E/IMA is the carbon fibre prepreg of choice for all the A350 XWB primary structures, including the wing and tail cone sections that are manufactured by the nearby Airbus Spain plant and Airbus subcontractors in Europe.

The new prepreg plant at Parla will convert carbon fibre into the prepreg tape that is used for automated processing of composites. The new building has now been officially opened at a ceremony where speeches were made by Hexcel President & COO, Nick Stanage, Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, Director General of Airbus Operations, Don Jose Maria Fraile, Mayor of Parla and Don Percival Manglano, Madrid Regional Minister for the Economy.

Commenting at the Ceremony Hexcel President & COO Nick Stanage said: “This expansion at Hexcel Parla is a continuation of our strategy of supporting our key customers by adding capacity so that we may provide timely state-of-the-art prepreg materials right to their points of use.  We are very pleased to support the growth of our longtime partner Airbus and we wish to thank our customers, the local community and all those who have supported us in expanding our world class prepreg facility here in Spain.”

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