Composites supplier Hexcel features aerospace structures at Paris Airshow

The carbon fiber, prepreg and core supplier's display at the Paris Airshow includes a wing spar demonstrator for the Airbus A350 XWB.

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Hexcel Composites Ltd. (Duxford, U.K.; Stamford, Conn., USA) is attending the Paris Airshow (www.paris-air-show.com) this week to promote its range of composite materials and new technologies for commercial and defense aircraft, helicopters, aero engines and space applications.

Last year Hexcel was awarded the biggest contract in its 61-year history to supply primary structure prepreg for the Airbus A350 XWB. As part of the contract Hexcel made prepreg deliveries to Airbus Nantes last month for the first A350 series production wing box. In Paris, Hexcel is displaying an Airbus A350 XWB wing spar demonstrator, manufactured by Airbus UK, using HexPly epoxy prepreg with HexTow carbon fiber.  The A350 primary structures prepreg contract is expected to generate revenues for Hexcel of over $4 billion through to 2025.  

Hexcel will also showcase the AleniaAermacchi Double Degree of Freedom (2DOF) Zero-Splice Acoustic Panel that is manufactured with HexWeb AcoustiCap honeycomb and HexPly carbon fiber prepreg. The sound-absorption obtained from the 2DOF panel design using AcoustiCap® is enhanced by the “zero splice” configuration that prevents the generation of scattering modes while offering a wider sound-reducing area and a low weight solution.  This configuration is now offered by AleniaAermacchi for all current and future acoustic inlet designs.

Hexcel is also promoting its HexTOOL machinable composite tooling material, having added the HexTOOL M81 epoxy version to the highly successful BMI product, HexTOOL M61. HexTOOL M81 cures in 6 hours at 125°C/257°F, followed by a post cure of two hours at 205°C/401°F and is designed for the manufacture of 120°C curing parts.

Hexcel’s honeycomb promotion in Paris this year focuses on the HexWeb Engineered Core capabilities, which allow Hexcel to supply customers with core that has been formed, shaped, machined and bonded to achieve precise, complex shapes.