Hexcel has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Aerospace & Defence (A&D) business of Oxford Performance Materials (OPM).
OPM A&D produces high performance thermoplastic, carbon fibre reinforced 3D-printed parts for commercial aerospace, space and defence applications. The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close later this month.
The asset acquisition will include equipment, intellectual property and manufacturing process technology related to the A&D business operations in South Windsor, Connecticut, US. Other OPM businesses are not included in the acquisition.
Hexcel reports that OPM is the first company to successfully apply and qualify additive manufacturing technology to the high performance polymer PEKK for aerospace, industrial and biomedical applications. The company has significant process and material technology knowledge in the areas of additive manufacturing and PEKK thermoplastic materials that could improve the way aircraft and defence components are manufactured. The technology can replace machined, cast and printed metal parts in many applications, providing customers with a high performance, lighter weight, and potentially lower cost, solution.
“We are excited to add this next generation technology to our portfolio,” states Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President Nick Stanage. “In combination with our unique carbon fibre capability, PEKK can provide a range of new technology solutions to our aerospace and defence customers in printed parts as well as assembled structures and broader design solutions.”
OPM was awarded a contract from Boeing to supply 3D-printed structural production parts for the CST-100 Starliner among numerous other customer-focused development programmes. Hexcel says this acquisition will enable more rapid operational scaling and development of this emerging technology to meet growing market demand for carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic additive technology in aerospace and defence applications.
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