Hexcel introduces integrated wing demonstrator and I-beam made of HiTape carbon fiber reinforced material

Visitors to the Hexcel booth at this year’s Paris Air Show will see an integrated wing demonstrator and I-beams made of HiTape carbon fiber reinforced material. Developed for the automated laying of prefabricated parts, HiTape Dry Carbon Reinforcement complements the next-generation HiFlow resin system, which uses a resin infusion process to produce high quality aerospace structures.

Hexcel introduces integrated wing demonstrator and I-beam made of HiTape carbon fiber reinforced material

The reinforcing material uses a toughened veil to enhance mechanical properties and meet the structural requirements of aerospace parts. I-Beam was manufactured using C-RTM (compression resin transfer molding), and Hexcel’s RTM6 resin was injected in less than five minutes.

The Hexcel honeycomb structure reduces the weight of the composite structure and increases stiffness. The company also offers a range of engineering core solutions that produce precision contours of high-precision contours according to customer specific requirements. A sample part made of aluminum FlexCore will be CNC machined on both sides and formed and stabilized by a release layer and flight stabilizing layer.

Another cellular innovation is Hexcel’s Acousti-Cap broadband noise-reduction honeycomb, which improves the sound absorption of aircraft nacelles. Acoustic processing can be positioned with consistent depth and resistance within the core, or can be placed in different depths and/or resistances (multiple degrees of freedom and 3 degrees of freedom), providing a precisely tuned acoustic lining to engine operating conditions. These technologies have been tested on NASA’s all-engine test rig and can be used to meet all 16 design conditions without trade-offs.

Another Hexcel technology for aircraft engines is the HexShield honeycomb structure, which provides high temperature resistance in the cabin. By inserting heat-resistant materials into the honeycomb unit, Hexcel offers a core product with unique thermal insulation that re-uses the material after a fire.

With over 50 years of experience in its full range of high-strength, high-strength PAN-based carbon fibers, Hexcel continues to innovate and introduce two new fibers into its portfolio. Combining high modulus and high tensile strength, the HexTow HM50 is ideal for commercial and defense aircraft and engines. HexTow 85 is specifically designed to replace rayon-based carbon fibers for ablation applications.

Another area of ​​expertise in the use of HexTow carbon fiber is additive manufacturing, and Hexcel manufactures carbon-enhanced 3D printed parts using PEKK ultra-high performance polymers and HexAM technology. This innovative process provides a weight-reducing solution for complex parts in demanding aerospace, satellite and defense applications. The HexPEKK structure delivers significant weight, cost and time-to-market, replacing new cast or machined metal parts with new technology.

Later this year, Hexcel will open a joint R&D lab with Arkema in Les Avenières (Isère) to develop carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic prepregs for aerospace, space and defense applications. A thermoplastic prepreg reel will be on display at the Hexcel booth to showcase this cost-effective technology that enables future generations of aircraft to produce lightweight components at faster production cycles.

The Hexcel bracket is located next to Groupe Gazechim Composites, the official distributor of Hexcel aerospace products. In 2018, Hexcel and Gazechim formed a joint venture, HexCut Services, to provide customized services to aerospace and defense customers, including Hexcel’s innovative carbon fiber prepregs, fabrics and adhesives. Pre-cut kits save customers time and money, reduce inventory and minimize material loss by reducing scrap.