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Hexcel to Display Epoxy-based Innovations at JEC Paris 2012

Published on 2012-03-26. Author : SpecialChem

Continuing to lead in composite materials innovation, Hexcel will showcase an array of enabling technologies in the Aerospace, Wind Energy, and Industrial markets at JEC Paris 2012. Visitors will discover ground-breaking applications - from the fuselage panel for the Airbus A350 XWB, to the roof of the Lamborghini Aventador, a spar for a wind turbine blade to the unveiling of the latest development in Acousti-Cap®.


Acousti-Cap®, the Zero Splice Two Degree of Freedom Inlet

The latest development in Acousti-Cap technology with sound absorption that is enhanced by the zero splice configuration. This prevents the generation of scattering acoustical modes, while offering a wider noise-reducing area and low weight solution. The variable depth insertion allows Hexcel to tune the performance requirements of the liner depending on the customer's noise reduction needs.

HexPly® M21E/IMA for the A350 XWB

An impressive 5 metre long A350 XWB Fuselage test panel manufactured by Composite Technology Center (CTC), Stade, Germany. The fuselage panel is manufactured using Automated Fiber Placement and Hexcel's supplies the prepreg as slit tape for this process.

HexMC® Parts

HexMC® is a new product form of composite material that is derived from established aerospace industry high strength carbon fiber/epoxy tape. Used to great effect on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, HexMC® offers low density, good strength and stiffness properties, enabling complex shapes that would previously have had to be machined or forged from metal to be manufactured in composites in cost-effective series production. Hexcel has full in-house design, testing and manufacturing facilities for HexMC® parts.

Outlet Guide Vanes (OGV) for the GE-Honda HF120 turbofan

Jointly developed by GE Honda and Hexcel, 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.

Hexcel's composite solutions extend way beyond their use in commercial aircraft. At the JEC Paris show, Hexcel will display an Ultra Light Antenna Reflector for a communications satellite, manufactured by Astrium (part of the EADS group) using Hexcel's HexPly® M18 prepreg that was developed specifically for space applications. The system provides outstanding low moisture absorption and high strain to failure, making it highly resilient to the temperature fluctuation experienced in outer space.



A perfect surface finish is obtained from the patented weaving technology in which fibers are spread in both the warp and weft direction to provide a uniform weave and smooth appearance. Since launching PrimeTex® Hexcel and customers have discovered that the benefits of this technology extend beyond the cosmetic attributes. The patented spreading process produces thinner fabrics, which result in greater weight savings – and the resulting laminates have reduced porosity and give better mechanical performance. Low porosity also gives good performance for thin skin sandwich structures and resistance to water ingress.

With the highest power to weight ratio of any car in its class, Lamborghini's Aventador LP700-4 is made from carbon-fiber monocoque technology, enabling it to achieve 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds. The carbon fiber roof was one of the most critical parts of the car to design because of the high mechanical requirements for this structural part, so Lamborghini and Hexcel worked together to define the best products and tailor them to meet the technical challenges. HexPly® M47 prepregs reinforced with PrimeTex® and XF3 lightly reinforced surfacing film were selected to respond to the challenge. PrimeTex® is now used by many automotive companies for the combination of a perfect finish (in all daylight conditions) combined with superior performance.

HexPly® XF3

A lightly reinforced surface film that provides an excellent surface finish, does not degrade over time and is ready to paint with minimum preparation. HexPly® XF3 is compatible with Hexcel's epoxy systems that are already in use for automotive applications, adapting to a range of cure cycles from 100° to 140°C. The combination of XF3 and PrimeTex® allowed Lamborghini to meet the rigorous Class A requirements and resulted in Hexcel being selected as sole supplier for the Aventador roof from early 2012.

PrimeTex® HS 12K fabric

Another application combining stunning looks with outstanding performance is the new RC4 WorldCup SC C-line alpine ski from Fischer Sports. Fischer uses this material, at 193 gsm areal weight, with a closure factor that is continuously measured and controlled throughout the weaving process. The PrimeTex® is then co-bonded with a HexForce® 25gsm glass woven fabric and slit into woven tapes. The co-bonding maintains the fabric stability and provides clean, straight edges for very high quality control during the prepregging process.

HexPly® M77 and HexMC®

A new development being promoted by Hexcel at JEC is the combination of HexMC® patented technology with Hexcel's unique rapid curing HexPly® M77 epoxy resin system. Hexcel has developed this high performance carbon fiber compound specifically for compression molding processes that are compatible with large volume automated production, as used in the automotive industry. Hexcel is working with Plastic Omnium to optimize the technology and a demonstrator part using HexPly® M77 and HexMC® technology will be on show at JEC.


Hexcel's patented composite tooling material that enables the tolerance accuracy achieved with metals to be combined with the extreme lightness of carbon fiber composites. HexTOOL® molds are easy to repair and are simple to modify. This new concept for lightweight, efficient large-scale tools is cost-effective compared with conventional composite tools and metal molds, especially those made from Invar®. At JEC, Hexcel will showcase a mold tool made by SKF Aerospace using HexTOOL M61 BMI tooling material. The tooling is used to manufacture airframe attachment lugs by RTM processing.


Grid Technology

Hexcel's innovative and patented carbon UD materials utilizing Grid-Technology allow very thick carbon UD laminates to be manufactured by vacuum bag technology resulting in excellent void-free laminate quality. The technology assists in removing air during the vacuum bag process and ensures that the void content in the final unidirectional carbon laminate is very low, giving superior mechanical performance by translating carbon fiber properties into laminate properties. Hexcel's HexPly® carbon fiber UD prepregs with grid technology have been certified by Germanischer Lloyd for use in wind energy applications.

About Hexcel

Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers, reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.

Source: Hexcel

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