Hexcel launches electrically conductive PEKK-based carbon fiber material

Appears in Print as: 'Electromagnetic shielding and radar absorptive technology for aircraft application'

HexPEKK EM is a high-performance material for additive manufacturing that meets electromagnetic shielding, radiation absorption requirements. 


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Source | Hexcel

Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., U.S.), announced on August 24 the launch of its latest HexAM materials technology, HexPEKK EM, an electrically conductive, high-performance, PEKK-based thermoplastic carbon fiber composite material for additive manufacturing that is said to offer industry-leading performance.

According to Hexcel, HexPEKK EM integrates advanced electromagnetic (EM) performance within complex 3D-printed components for the commercial aerospace, defense and military sectors. HexPEKK EM composite components are said to be flight-ready after printing.

Said to be formulated specifically to meet the static electricity management, electromagnetic shielding and radiation absorption requirements of advanced aircraft applications, the novel PEKK carbon-fiber-blended material reportedly delivers unique electrical performance that complements Hexcel’s current portfolio of carbon fiber-based and unfilled neat resin HexPEKK 100 material offerings. Manufactured using the aerospace industry qualified HexAM process, Hexcel says HexPEKK EM components exhibit best-in-class environmental, operational temperature and chemical-resistant performance attainable in the aerospace industry.

Integrating the enhanced EM performance into additive manufactured components, HexPEKK EM parts are said to not require costly and time-consuming secondary processing steps, such as the application of conductive coating for the management of electromagnetic interference or radiation absorption. Overall, the material reportedly reduces weight and cost, while providing unlimited design flexibility for aerostructures.

Target applications for HexPEKK EM cover a broad range of products such as exterior surfaces, leading edges, air inlets, electronic enclosures and cockpit structures for commercial airplanes, military aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) components.

The company notes that HexPEKK EM components will be produced at Hexcel’s Hartford, Conn. plant, where the company continues to develop the HexAM additive manufacturing process using powder bed fusion technology to fundamentally improve the way the world’s aircraft components are manufactured.