Following a successful debut in 2011 Hexcel is again exhibiting at the MAKS Moscow Air Show this year, from August 27th to September 1st, to promote its carbon fiber and composite materials for civil aircraft, helicopters, aircraft engines and space applications. The demand for Hexcel’s composite materials is very high as aircraft designers strive for more lightweight, durable and fuel-efficient structures.
Composite material innovations being promoted on the Hexcel stand at MAKS include HexPly® 8552 and M21 prepregs for primary and secondary aircraft structures and HexWeb® honeycombs, used to great effect in Russian aircraft programmes for many years due to the stiffness that they confer to sandwich structures for very little added weight.
Also in the spotlight will be Hexcel’s PrimeTex® carbon fiber fabrics in which the fibers are spread in both the warp and weft direction to provide a uniform weave and gap-free finish. The PrimeTex® spreading process increases the closure factor by 5-8% compared to conventional weaving processes. PrimeTex® also allows high K tow fibers to be used without increasing the areal weight of the fabric or the closure factor between the warp and the weft, unlike traditional woven carbon fabrics. The gap-free structure reduces porosity in laminates which require less part finishing operations. In honeycomb sandwich structures PrimeTex® skins provide excellent water tightness, making it idea for aircraft belly fairings and helicopter structures.
Very Low Weight PrimeTex® (available at 98 gsm with HS3K carbon fiber or 160 gsm with IM12K fiber) can lower the mass of a composite structure, resulting in even greater weight savings than with standard composite reinforcements.
Hexcel will also be promoting the newly launched HiTape® Advanced Reinforcements for Out of Autoclave (OOA) Processed Aircraft Primary Structures. Developed with next generation aircraft primary structures and engine/nacelle components in mind, HiTape® combines the benefits of automated processing with the cost-effectiveness of Out of Autoclave infusion technologies. Parts produced with HiTape® and Hexcel’s HexFlow® infusion resins can be up to 30mm thick with a 58 to 60% Fiber Volume Content. The mechanical properties are therefore as high as those found in parts made with the latest generation primary structure prepregs.
HiTape® dry UD tape, made from Hexcel’s HexTow® carbon fiber, allows preforms to be manufactured in a fully automated lay-up process, targeting deposition rates above 50Kg/h. HiTape® eliminates the time-consuming processes of material splicing and polythene film removal. Customer evaluations have demonstrated that significant cost-savings are achievable with HiTape® and the associated vacuum infusion process.
HiTape® has been used to great effect by Aerocomposit for wing prototype components, one of which will be displayed on the Hexcel stand.
Hexcel opened its Moscow sales office in June 2011 to support the growing demand for composites in Russia and to enhance the efficiency of service to customers.