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Hexcel Focus on Composite Innovations for Aerospace, Automotive and Wind Energy at JEC Europe 2015

03 March 2015

Hexcel is exhibiting at JEC Europe 2015 to promote the latest composite innovations for aerospace, automotive and wind energy applications.

Building on the attributes of HexPly M77, Hexcel expalins it has now installed a fully automated production line in Austria that converts UD prepreg into 2D preforms in seconds. It says the process allows prepreg plies of different weights and orientation to be combined in the same ply-book and includes automated cutting, camera-assisted ply positioning, integration of adhesive and automated packing.

Visitors to JEC will see CFRP reinforced Body in White parts made with HexPly M77 preforms from Hexcel’s automated process. The preforms’ low tack allows for automated handling by the customer. They require no surface preparation and are designed for one step bonding and curing in a press, requiring no finishing operations. Common BIW part joining technologies such as welding can be used, and the parts are compatible with e-coating processes.

Hexcel will also display a Lamborghini Aventador monocoque, with a roof made from Hexcel’s XF3 surface film and HexPly M47 prepreg for a Class A painted surfaces. The tub structure was made by RTM using FORMAX multiaxial structures specifically designed for preform applications. Multiaxial fabrics combine drapeability with good structural properties and allow carbon fibre to be processed at speeds and efficiencies conducive with high volume automotive manufacturing processes.

Hexcel’s wind energy display comprises a wind blade section manufactured by SSP Technology using Hexcel’s HexPly M79 prepreg. HexPly M79 was developed to meet industry requirements for a faster and lower temperature curing prepreg for thick laminates in the wind energy and marine industries. It says that the system cures in 8 to 10 hours at 70°C/158°F or in just 4 to 6 hours at 80°C/176°F.

Hexcel is also launching its new advanced Polyspeed pre-cured, thick-ply carbon fiber elements for structural reinforcement applications. Carbon fibre tows are impregnated, shaped and cured in a continuous process that creates perfect fibre alignment and a uniform surfaced product. Polyspeed laminates are described as having very high structural properties and are available with epoxy and polyurethane resins. The laminates form production-ready components for structural applications in marine, wind and automotive. They are fully compatible with Hexcel’s epoxy thermoset resin matrices and can be used in combination with Hexcel prepregs for wind blades including HexPly M79. It says they are also compatible with many commercial thermoset infusion resins.

For aerospace customers Hexcel is launching a new RTM resin, HexFlow RTM230 ST, that is designed to perform at high temperatures with superior toughness with an excellent high rate impact resistance. Hexcel says the resin is particularly suitable for engine components such as fan blades and fan cases, spacers and outlet guide vanes. Matching the current market leader in terms of high in-plane and impact performance with good long term thermal stability, HexFlow RTM230 ST is easier to process, having a 45 minute injection window. In addition the system demonstrates outstanding resistance to aggressive fluids including commonly used solvents and aviation fuel.

Hexcel’s HiTape technology is the JEC Innovation Award Winner for Aerospace. HiTape advanced dry carbon fibre reinforcements are designed for the automated manufacture of preforms at very high deposition rates. The preforms are then infused with Hexcel’s RTM6 resin in a cost-efficient out of autoclave process. Hexcel claims that parts produced with its HiTape reinforcements and 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 partnered with Stelia Aerospace (formerly Aerolia), Coriolis Composites and CompositeAdour to collaborate on the design, manufacture and testing of a primary aircraft structure – a self-stiffened fuselage demonstrator panel - using HiTape. The resulting panel that will be displayed at JEC is said to demonstrate that HiTape meets the aerospace performance standards for primary structures, including damage tolerance. This cost and cycle efficient technology meets the targets for next generation aircraft.

At JEC Hexcel is launching HexSHIELD, a technology product providing high temperature resistance in aircraft engine nacelles. By inserting a thermally resistant material into honeycomb cells Hexcel claims it provides a core product with unique heat-shielding capabilities, that allows for the potential re-use of material after a fire at 1093°C/2000°F. HexSHIELD combines the structural and formable benefits of honeycomb with thermal resistance performance and can be combined with various facing materials, making it tailorable to customer needs.

On the Hexcel stand at JEC visitors will see an out of autoclave filament wound carbon composite structure manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space using Hexcel’s HexPly M56 and HexTow HM63 carbon fibre towpreg. The part was manufactured in a partnership framework to develop high performance towpreg for space applications.

Hexcel can be found in Hall 7.3, Stand F30.






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