Hexcel Promotes Composites for Aerospace, Automotive and Wind Energy at Composites Europe 2014

30 September 2014

Hexcel will be promoting its latest carbon fibre and composite technologies at Composites Europe 2014, in Stuttgart, Germany, from 7th to 9th October 2014. 

Hexcel states it will show how innovations in carbon fibre, prepregs and weaving technologies are transforming composite structures in aerospace, automotive, wind energy and marine markets.

For the automotive sector, Hexcel explains it is promoting its proven fast cure system HexPly M77 that meets the needs of large volume manufacturers in the automotive and sports goods industries, offering a  two-minute press-cure cycle at 150°C (80 bar pressure).  HexPly M77 snap cure prepreg benefits from a 6-week outlife at room temperature and is available in various forms including unidirectional or woven reinforcements and heavy tow fibres.

HexPly M77 epoxy resin is also supplied in the form of HexMC, a high performance carbon fibre/epoxy compound developed specifically for compression moulding processes with a very high fibre volume content providing excellent mechanical performance. HexMC is ideal for the series production of complex shaped parts with thickness variation, sharp angles or parts that require inserts to be integrated into the moulding process such as screw threads. 

Within the Wind and Marine industries, Hexcel has expanded its prepreg range to meet the requirements for extra-large structures such as wind blades and yacht masts.  Hexcel developed HexPly M79 to provide a faster and lower temperature curing prepreg, with low exothermic reaction for very thick laminates. A number of cure cycle options are possible for HexPly M79 including a very low temperature cure of 8-10 hours at 70°C or a more rapid cure cycle of just 4-6 hours at 80°C. With previous systems it could take 10 hours to cure a laminate at 80°C. HexPly M79 also has a very long out life at room temperature of at least 6 weeks. 

For Aerospace, Hexcel states it has developed HexPly M92 prepreg combines all the major benefits achieved individually with other 125°C curing epoxy resins in one new “multi-purpose” system. These benefits include a hot wet Tg of 115°C, allowing HexPly M92 to operate at higher service temperatures from a lower temperature cure. The system is self-adhesive to honeycomb, making it suitable for sandwich structures as well as monolithic components. Other benefits include high toughness, fire resistance, low exotherm, a long out/tack life and the ability to cure by vacuum bag.

HiTape advanced dry carbon fibre reinforcements combine the benefits of automated processing with the cost-effectiveness of Out of Autoclave infusion technologies for next generation aircraft primary structures.  HiTape allows preforms to be manufactured in a fully automated lay-up process, with high deposition rates. Parts produced with HiTape and Hexcel’s HexFlow infusion resins can be up to 30mm thick with a 58 to 60% Fibre Volume Content, resulting in mechanical properties that are as high as those achieved with primary structure prepregs.

Hexcel has added to its range of IM and AS fibres by launching a new High Modulus carbon fibre, called HexTow HM63. This new fibre has the highest tensile strength of any HM fibre and provides outstanding translation of fibre properties in a composite, including superior interlaminar shear and compression strength. HexTow HM63 is therefore ideal for any high stiffness and strength-critical applications including space, satellites, UAV, commercial aerospace and helicopters. It also meets the special requirements for premium sports and recreation applications including F1, marine craft, bikes and fishing rods.

The company states that also featuring on the stand will be a number of exhibition parts from different industry sectors including automotive, aerospace and carbon fibre.

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