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Hexcel launches new products

News International-French

6 Sep 2017

The company is responding to the ongoing need to drive down the cost of manufacturing advanced composite industrial parts and aerospace solutions with two new products: HexPly M77HF epoxy prepreg and HexTow IM5 carbon fiber.

HexPly M77HF epoxy prepreg, for industrial applications, is a high flow resin system that was developed for a quick three-minute cure cycle using low pressure processing techniques such as cello-wrapping, simple presses, bladder molding and even vacuum-only pressure. Compared to standard epoxy prepregs, cure cycles can be reduced by up to 90%.

HexPly M77HF is an expansion of Hexcel’s range of fast reactivity, low tack, high toughness and long out-life resins, providing a prepreg that is specifically suited for processing parameters that require additional resin flow for surface quality, compaction or low voids. HexPly M77HF also has good resin transparency, provides good surface quality (without pinholes), and can be supplied with black pigmented resin. There will be a HED bicycle wheel on display at the show which showcases the HexPly M77HF prepreg in a recreation application.

The new HexTow IM5 carbon fiber for aerospace is a hybrid of Hexcel IM technology and Hexcel’s classic high strength (AS) carbon fiber processes. This fiber comes close to the properties of a new modern IM carbon fiber but at a more attractive price. It totes a current tensile modulus of 40 Msi (276 GPa), but this can be tailored to customers’ specific application needs, making it a versatile and cost effective option for prepregging, filament winding, braiding and pultrusion within aerospace applications.

Aerospace
Hexcel‘s Acousti-Cap sound reducing honeycomb is a key part of the nacelle of the 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 is a major contributing factor in the 40% reduction of the area of acceptable noise contour of the 737 MAX engine over the legacy 737 NG, without any weight penalty. The efficacy of this material comes from the permeable cap material which is individually embedded into each honeycomb cell to create an acoustic septum. A section of the acoustic inner barrel from a Boeing 737 MAX will be on display on Hexcel’s stand at CAMX 2017.

At the show, Hexcel will also promote its HiTape dry carbon fiber reinforcements with a C spar panel and co-infused stringer. This display shows the high forming capability of HiTape reinforcements and how the technology can be used to co-infuse stringers and C spar panels. It is also representative of an aircraft wing construction. HiTape dry carbon fiber reinforcements are designed for the automated manufacture of preforms at very high deposition rates. The dry preforms are infused with Hexcel’s HexFlow RTM6 resin for a cost-efficient out-of-autoclave manufacturing process for next generation aircraft structures. Parts produced with HiTape reinforcements and Hexcel’s HexFlow infusion resins can be up to 30mm thick with a 58 to 60% fiber volume content, resulting in mechanical properties that are as high as those achieved with primary structure prepregs.

Another of Hexcel’s innovative solutions on display is the HexTool carbon fiber composite tooling material which enables mold tool manufacturers to build lightweight tooling that meets the strict requirements for stability and repeatability of tolerances that had previously only been achieved with machined Invar tools. HexTool material also provides improved thermal performance and is much lighter than metal tooling, allowing for easier handling and maneuverability. Long tool life, ease of use, and the machinability of cured structures are some of the primary reasons HexTool is being selected to make tooling for aircraft and engine structures worldwide.

Recreation
Hexcel’s HexTow carbon fiber is used in many different recreational applications from skis to surfboards, and now it’s hitting the golf course in Callaway’s new Epic drivers. A&P Technology has developed a quasi-isotropic braided material, known as their QISO line of materials, made from HexTow AS4C GP 3K and 6K carbon fibers. This braided fabric is then made into a continuous carbon fiber-reinforced hybrid vinyl ester molding compound which offers 2-3X the tensile strength and 30-200% higher flex strength vs. chopped carbon fiber/VE compounds. Callaway’s Epic driver heads combine an inner titanium structure with the carbon fiber crown and sole, allowing improved perimeter weighting for more forgiveness and decreased spin.

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