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HiTape® advanced reinforcements for OOA-processed aircraft primary structures

News International-French

28 Feb 2013

JEC Europe 2013 - Hexcel will be launching the HiTape® high-performance unidirectional reinforcements, based on Hexcel’s HexTow® carbon fibre and designed to meet the requirements for aircraft primary structures made by cost-effective out of autoclave (OOA) vacuum infusion or injection technology.

This new material allows dry preforms to be manufactured in a fully automated lay-up process, similar to the AFP and ATL processes widely used for UD prepregs. The tight width tolerance of HiTape gives total control of the automated dry preform process – and it is a waste-free operation, even for complex structures, as the materials are placed exactly where required. There is no need to apply pressure to consolidate the preform and remove air as this occurs later when vacuum is applied.


Aircraft structures made with HiTape demonstrate mechanical properties that are as high as those found in parts made with the latest generation primary structure prepregs. HiTape gives particularly high compression after impact (CAI) performance.


HiTape has been used to great effect by Aerocomposit for wing prototype components. Spirit AeroSystems has also successfully used it to form the skin of the outer fan cowl for an engine nacelle. Parts from both customers will be on display at the Hexcel stand at JEC. Videos filmed at Coriolis and M Torres will also be screened, demonstrating the speed and efficiency of the HiTape lay-up process.


Hexcel supplies HiTape together with HexFlow® epoxy resins for optimum mechanical performance and infusion/injection process parameters.


Customer evaluations have demonstrated that significant cost-savings are achievable with HiTape and the associated vacuum infusion process. The materials allow the part design to be optimised and can include the integration of functions. The automated preform process is simplified, without any material splicing or the removal of polythene film – and very high preform lay-up outputs are achieved. Another cost-saving benefit is that no refrigerator storage is required due to the dry nature of the reinforcements.


More information: www.

Booth G57