Hexcel will be exhibiting at CAMX in Anaheim, CA on Sept. 27-29 in booth E22 to promote its latest composite innovations for aerospace, automotive, recreational equipment and wind energy applications.
Hexcel continues to pave the way in airplane engine noise reduction innovation with its Acousti-Cap® broadband noise-reducing honeycomb. On January 29, 2016 Hexcel and Boeing celebrated the first flight of the 737 MAX 8. The 737 MAX is powered by LEAP-1B engines from CFM International. While Hexcel supplies HexTow® IM7 carbon fiber for the engine fan blades and containment cases, the engine nacelles have an acoustic inner barrel that is manufactured from Hexcel’s engineered core and Acousti-Cap® technology. Acousti-Cap® honeycomb’s efficacy is made possible by a permeable cap material which is individually embedded into each honeycomb cell to create an acoustic septum. This technology is a leading contributor to the 40% reduction of the area of acceptable noise contour of the 737 MAX engine over the legacy 737 NG, without any weight penalty. A section of acoustic inner barrel will be on display on Hexcel’s stand.
Hexcel’s leading edge technology and advanced structural materials have played a key role in the evolution of sports and recreation equipment, providing lightness, stiffness and strength. On January 5, 2016, Hexcel completed its full acquisition of Formax UK Limited, a leading manufacturer of composite reinforcements, specializing in the production of lightweight carbon fiber multiaxials and highly engineered glass fiber and aramid fiber fabrics. Hexcel has continued the production of these multiaxial reinforcements under the trademark of HiMax™ multiaxial reinforcements. HiMax™ reinforcements allow manufacturers to process multiple layers of unidirectional fibers in a single fabric. To showcase these innovative reinforcements, Hexcel will be displaying a surfboard made from HiMax™ carbon fiber multiaxial reinforcements as well as a showcase board of several of the many different available weaves and materials. HexForce® reinforcements have long been a standard for structural composites, used in aerospace, military, transportation and industrial applications. Reinforcements in the form of fabrics or non-wovens are made using a variety of high performance fibers, including glass, carbon, aramids, and specialty reinforcements. Using a specialized spreading process called PrimeTex®, carbon fabrics are processed for a smooth, closed weave and uniform cosmetic appearance. The fiber tows are spread in both the warp and weft direction for unique aesthetic appeal. PrimeTex® fabrics are more uniform as the filaments in each tow are spread out creating a thinner and more closely woven fabric that provides better mechanicals and less porosity in a composite. They can also be used to lower the mass in a composite where lighter weight is the key characteristic. Along with a side-by-side comparison lightbox of a HexForce reinforcement before and after the PrimeTex® process, Hexcel will have a Warrior hockey stick on display at its booth to show the finished appearance of PrimeTex® reinforcements in a recreational application.
PrimeTex® reinforcements are widely used for their aesthetic and structural properties within the automotive industry as well. With a closed weave (0.5% porosity) and uniform appearance, PrimeTex® reinforcements have been used on BMW M3, M4 and M5 series car roofs for more than 10 years. This unique material is perfect for the cosmetic application for style and design, but also provides enhanced performance to these state-of-the-art vehicles. An example of such a BMW roof made from PrimeTex® reinforcements will be on display at CAMX. The vast majority of leaf springs on the market today, used for suspension on heavy vehicles such as vans, trucks and SUVs, are made out of spring steel. Composite leaf springs, made out of glass and carbon composites, offer many advantages over their metal counterparts such as up to 70% weight savings, high corrosion resistance, optimized system integration, improved riding performance and superior fatigue performance. Hexcel manufactures heavy weight glass UD prepregs with fiber areal weights above 1200 gsm to allow for the fast and effective manufacturing of preforms. Hexcel’s fully industrialized HexPly® M9 resin family provides excellent mechanical performance at competitive costs. These M9 prepregs can be press cured for high volume production of composite leaf springs. M9 prepreg is currently supplied for serial production of composite leaf springs on a smaller scale in Asian markets, but Hexcel sees the potential for a much larger scale use of M9 prepregs in the US and EU automotive markets. An example of these composite leaf springs will be on display in Hexcel’s booth at CAMX.