Hexcel showcases new aerospace and automotive applications

The 5 m long A350 XWB fuselage test panel was manufactured by Composite Technology Center (CTC), Stade, Germany, using automated fibre placement (AFP). Hexcel supplies the prepreg (HexPly® M21E/IMA) as slit tape for this process.

Lamborghini’s Aventador LP700-4 features a carbon fibre composite monocoque. The carbon fibre roof was one of the most critical parts of the car to design because of the high mechanical requirements for this part. Lamborghini and Hexcel worked together to define the best products for the roof and tailor them to meet the technical challenges. Hexcel HexPly® M47 prepregs reinforced with PrimeTex® carbon fabrics and XF3 lightly reinforced surfacing film were selected.

Hexcel says PrimeTex is now used by many automotive companies for the combination of a perfect finish (in all daylight conditions) combined with superior performance.

Another application combining stunning looks with outstanding performance is the new RC4 WorldCup SC C-line alpine ski from Fischer Sports. Fischer uses PrimeTex material, at 193 g/m2 areal weight. The PrimeTex is co-bonded with a HexForce® 25 g/m2 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.

Hexcel also displayed an Ultra Light Antenna Reflector for a communications satellite, manufactured by Astrium (part of the EADS group) using HexPly M18 prepreg developed specifically for space applications. The system is designed to provide outstanding low moisture absorption and high strain to failure, making it highly resilient to the temperature fluctuations experienced in outer space.

Hexcel´s patented carbon UD materials utilising Grid Technology allow very thick carbon UD laminates to be manufactured by vacuum bag technology resulting in excellent void-free laminate quality. Hexcel’s HexPly carbon fibre UD prepregs with grid technology have been certified by Germanischer Lloyd for use in wind energy applications.