Airbus A350 XWB Containing Hexcel Carbon Fibre and Composite Materials Achieves Type Certification

21 October 2014

Airbus A350 XWB Containing Hexcel Carbon Fibre and Composite Materials Achieves Type Certification

The Airbus A350 XWB containing Hexcel carbon fibre and composite materials has achieved Type Certification, which means the aircraft is now ready for flight operations.

According to Hexcel, the aircraft is expected to be delivered to its launch customer during the fourth quarter of 2014. The A350 XWB is the first Airbus aircraft with a structure that is over 50% advanced composite materials, making a huge contribution to the weight-saving, performance and fuel efficiency of the aircraft. Hexcel says it is a major supplier of advanced materials for the composite structures on the aircraft.

“Speaking for the entire Hexcel organisation, I congratulate Airbus and its team of dedicated employees on their achievement in timely completing the long testing process and certification of the A350 XWB for flight,” said Nick Stanage, Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President. “Hexcel is proud to be a partner-supplier to Airbus and to have Hexcel carbon fibre and composite materials incorporated into so many structural parts of the A350 XWB.”

Hexcel’s HexPly M21E/IMA carbon fibre/epoxy prepreg is used to manufacture all composite primary structures of the aircraft, including the fuselage panels, keel beam, wing and the empennage. It explains that the A350 XWB lower wing cover is the biggest single civil aviation part ever made from carbon fibre, measuring 32 meters long. In addition to the primary structures, Hexcel is supplying a number of HexPly prepregs for other structures on the A350 XWB program, including the epoxy systems HexPly M21 and HexPly 8552 - and the BMI system HexPly M65.

Hexcel explains its HexPly 8552 woven and UD prepregs, HexPly M65 woven BMI prepreg and HexPly 914/ASC woven prepreg are used in the engines and nacelles along with its engineered core. The belly fairing is made from its HexPly M26T and F593 woven carbon prepregs and its HexWeb Engineered Core is also used extensively in several sandwich component packages. Other products on the A350 XWB include HexFlow RTM 6 infusion resin and HexForce engineered reinforcements for out of autoclave structures, Redux adhesives and lightning strike protection solutions.

Hexcel says its total content on each A350 XWB is $5 million and includes carbon fibre from the USA and Spain, resin film from the UK, prepreg from France, Spain, Germany and the USA, and honeycomb and engineered core from the USA, UK and Belgium.

Photo courtesy of Hexcel.

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