At the first JEC Americas show that took place in Boston, US, on November 7 – 9, Hexcel received the JEC Innovation Award for Aerospace for its technologyHexMC.
As new generation commercial aircraft and jet engines increasingly use carbon fibre composites for large flight critical structures, a number of smaller complex geometry parts are required to connect these structures together. In the past these connector parts would have been made from metal and susceptible to fatigue and corrosion. Hexcel explains its HexMC technologyis based on high performance aerospace grade carbon fibre/epoxy materials that can be moulded into complex shapes in cost-effective series production. The resulting parts demonstrate performance levels comparable to carbon fibre/epoxy prepregs and the weight savings reduce aviation fuel consumption and increase aircraft payload.
Hundreds of HexMC parts have been certified for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner including Window Frames, Brackets, Fittings, Gussets, Clips/Cleats, Intercostals and Pans. The HexMC window frame has a significant impact on two key characteristics of the Dreamliner. The new low density, high strength composite frame results in almost a 50 percent weight saving over a traditional aluminium frame and provides superior damage tolerance.
According to Hexcel, new components to benefit from HexMC are the Outlet Guide Vanes for the GE-Honda HF120 turbofan. The concept design of the OGV was developed by Honda and the manufacturing of them was jointly developed by GE, Honda and Hexcel successfully. Each engine has 42 OGVs, which are great candidates to benefit from HexMC technology while providing weight savings that are comparable to – or better than – those achieved with other aerospace carbon/epoxy solutions. The GE-Honda HF120 turbofan has a robust, simplified design to deliver greater payload, longer range and outstanding durability for business jets. The use of HexMC contributes to the weight reductions which, together with an innovative 3D aerodynamic design, provide enhanced efficiency and optimize operability.
At the JEC Innovation Awards ceremony which took place on Wednesday November 7th the Award for Aerospace was received by Bruno Boursier, Hexcel R&T Manager and HexMC Business Development Manager.
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