At JEC World 2017 taking place in Paris on March 14-16, Hexcel will promote a number of composite innovations for aerospace, wind energy, automotive and recreation industries at Stand J41 in Pavilion 5A.
Among the aerospace displays will be an Airbus A320neo fan cowl for the LEAP-1A engine manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space using Hexcel HexPly® 8552/AS4 slit tape prepreg, HexFlow® resin and HexForce® woven carbon reinforcements. Hexcel is a major supplier of composite materials for the A320neo airframe and for both engine options, supplying carbon prepreg and engineered core components for the Pure Power PW1100G-JM engine. For the LEAP-1A engine by CFM International, Hexcel supplies HexTow® IM7 carbon fiber for all the fan blades and containment cases, in addition to HexPly® carbon prepreg for the nacelles and engineered core for the inner trans cowl.
Later this year, Hexcel will start production at a new engineered core plant in Casablanca, Morocco, adding to existing engineered core facilities in the U.S. and Belgium. Engineered core is flat honeycomb that Hexcel forms, shapes, machines and/or bonds to create high quality core details and assemblies to precise customer specifications. Hexcel will promote engineered core at JEC World by displaying a main landing gear door by Daher for Gulfstream that demonstrates Hexcel’s expertise in splicing, forming and numerically controlled machining of honeycomb.
Hexcel has more than 25 years of experience in developing out-of-autoclave (OOA) technologies for aerospace, and vacuum infusion is now a key technology for future aerospace programs, helping to meet the cost targets and production rate challenges for large structures. To meet the required performance for aerospace structures, Hexcel developed HiTape® carbon fiber reinforcements for the automated lay-up of dry preforms for resin infusion. At JEC World, Hexcel will display a C295 outer wing box demonstrator panel manufactured with HiTape® reinforcements by Airbus Defence and Space as part of the APOLO-Cleansky2 project. After the automated lay-up of HiTape® preforms for the panel stringer and spars, they were co-infused with Hexcel HexFlow® epoxy resin in a cost-efficient, out-of-autoclave process. This part demonstrates that HiTape® technology is an efficient composite solution for primary aircraft structures and a viable option to meet production rates and cost requirements for new aerospace programs.
Hexcel’s HexMC® molding composite is a high performance carbon fiber/epoxy material designed for compression molded parts, and Hexcel will display a single aisle wing access panel demonstrator manufactured from HexMC® in a one-step process. HexMC® technology enables the rapid manufacture of production parts with a fast cure cycle and net shape molding. The material accommodates thickness changes and allows the incorporation of an integrated stiffener.
Hexcel’s other promotions at JEC World will focus on a number of automotive technologies including a suspension knuckle made by Saint Jean Industries in which the aluminum structure is stiffened with HexPly® M77 prepreg stacks. The addition of prepreg results in a 26% increase in stiffness compared to the aluminum-only knuckle, without any increase in part volume. The aluminum/CFRP hybrid version can be incorporated in the existing space restrictions, allowing just one part design to be used across all models in the range. The CFRP increases the maximum strength before failure of the part, with optimum load distribution determined by Hexcel’s FEM calculations. Hexcel produces the net shape 2D preform in less than one minute. The prepreg stacks are bonded to the aluminum with Redux® 677, Hexcel’s new fast curing film adhesive for the high volume processing of metal/CFRP hybrid structures. Redux® 677 is designed for automated compression molding and is ideal for bonding metals, thermosets and thermoplastics with HexPly® M77 prepreg.
Hexcel’s composite materials portfolio now includes HiMax™ multiaxial fabrics manufactured in Leicester, U.K. Hexcel will display a composite floor demonstrator manufactured for Jaguar Land Rover using HiMax™ carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics specifically optimized for high-volume composites manufacturing processes. For this part, Hexcel created a non-crimp fabric with the optimum balance between drape, stability and permeability, using an automotive-grade standard modulus, high tow count carbon fiber. The high drape HiMax™ reinforcement conforms to the complex mold geometry of the part, minimizing the defects typically seen with standard materials, while its permeability is optimized to enable fast resin injection and cure times required for high volume manufacturing.
Polyspeed® pultruded carbon profiles are another new technology developed by Hexcel. These pre-cured, thick-ply carbon fiber elements offer an economical way of structurally reinforcing wind turbine blades and any other industrial application requiring load-carrying performance. Carbon fiber tows are impregnated with a thermoset resin and shaped and cured in a continuous pultrusion process, resulting in perfect fiber alignment and a smooth surface. The controlled resin and fiber content result in consistent quality, weight and mechanical properties including impact performance, fracture toughness and shear strength. This technology enables very large parts to be made with no restrictions on the part length, other than their transportability. At JEC World, Hexcel will display a 2-meter diameter carbon laminate coil made from Polyspeed® carbon fiber pultrusion for the structural reinforcement of a wind turbine blade.
Other industrial promotions on Hexcel’s stand at JEC World include the latest bike model from Trek bikes. The Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL is made with Hexcel’s HexPly® fast-curing carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg that was specially developed for quick cure cycles for faster production in recreational environments without any compromise. It also gives improved toughness and impact performance.
Hexcel will also exhibit a wind blade section showing the various carbon and glass materials that Hexcel supplies for this industry. These include HexPly® M79 prepregs optimized for low temperature cure and fast cycle times, HiMax™ dry non-crimp fabrics optimized for infusion technologies, and Hexcel’s cured carbon products for load bearing applications.
In 2016, Hexcel made a number of investments to expand the company’s portfolio and support the development of next-generation, advanced composite technologies that provide improved material performance and light weighting solutions for aerospace and industrial applications. Carbon Composites Incorporated (CCI), Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) and Luminati Aerospace will be promoted via a video presentation at Hexcel’s stand at JEC, and representatives from all companies will be at the show.
Carbon Conversions Incorporated (CCI) is a leader in reclaiming carbon fiber from dry, wet, and cured structures and incorporating reclaimed carbon fibers in advanced materials that are used to make new, high-performance components. Working collaboratively, Hexcel and CCI will further advance aerospace and industrial applications for reclaimed carbon fiber, enabling the widespread commercial adoption of high-performance, recycled carbon fiber reinforced products and extending their lifecycle.
Oxford Performance Materials, Inc. (OPM) applies 3D printing technology and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM™) to produce fully functional end-use parts that combine structural strength, enhanced performance, weight reduction and time-to-market benefits for its customer base. OPM uses Hexcel HexTow® carbon fiber in the production of 3D printed advanced thermoplastic structural parts for aerospace, satellite & defense programs.
Hexcel also entered into a supply agreement with Luminati Aerospace LLC to support the development of advanced aerospace materials and systems that target high-performance and multi-functional capabilities in future high-altitude long-endurance airplane designs and aerospace where thin ply advanced systems may be required.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibers, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.