Hexcel promotes multiaxial fabrics, fast curing CFRP products, pultruded profiles and film adhesive at Composites Europe 2016

At Composites Europe in Dusseldorf, Germany (November 29 – December 1) Hexcel will be promoting composite materials for automotive, wind energy and recreation markets and launching new products and technologies to support customers in their quest for better performance and faster processing at Hall 8b/Stand H31.

Composite floor demonstrator manufactured for Jaguar Land Rover employs Hexcel's HiMax carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics specifically optimized for high-volume composites manufacturing processes.

HexMC-i M77 is a high performance long fiber carbon/epoxy molding concept developed for compression molding in which the high fiber volume content assures excellent mechanical performance.

Hexcel’s range of composite materials for the automotive industry now includes the HiMax range of multiaxial fabrics manufactured in Leicester, UK. Hexcel will display a composite floor demonstrator manufactured for Jaguar Land Rover using Hexcel's HiMax carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics specifically optimized for high-volume composites manufacturing processes. For this part Hexcel created a non-crimp fabric with the optimum balance between drape, stability and permeability, using an automotive-grade standard modulus, high tow count carbon fiber. The high drape HiMax reinforcement conforms to the complex mold geometry of the part, minimizing the defects typically seen with standard materials, whilst its permeability is optimized to enable fast resin injection and cure times required for high volume manufacturing.

Hexcel will also promote its range of prepregs for automotive structures including HexPly M77 prepreg stacks that are used in the BMW 7 Series to save weight and reinforce the metal shell of the B-pillar. HexPly M77 prepreg cures in just 1.5 minutes at 160°C, meeting volume production requirements. Hexcel supplies BMW with preform stacks made of unidirectional carbon prepreg plies combined with adhesive.

Also in automotive, Hexcel will display a suspension knuckle made by St Jean Industries in which the aluminum structure is stiffened with HexPly M77 prepreg stacks. This results in a 26% increase in stiffness compared to the aluminum-only knuckle and the greater stiffness is achieved without any increase in part volume. The aluminum/CFRP hybrid version can therefore be incorporated in the current space restrictions, allowing just one part design to be used across all models in the range, for rationalization and cost-saving. The CFRP increases the maximum strength before failure of the part, with optimum load distribution determined by Hexcel’s FEM calculations. Hexcel produces the net shape 2D preform in less than 1min.

The knuckle’s prepreg stacks are bonded to the aluminum with Redux  677, Hexcel’s new fast curing film adhesive for the high volume processing of metal/CFRP hybrid structures. Redux 677 is designed for automated compression molding and is ideal for bonding metals, thermosets and thermoplastics with HexPly M77, having a compatible cure cycle of 2 minutes at 150°C for green strength and 4 minutes at 150°C for full cure (at 3.5 bar). Redux 677 provides high temperature resistance and excellent lap shear performance when bonding oily steel (3 g/m 2) or aluminum to CFRP. The adhesive is resistant to the e-coating process, climate variations and salt spray testing. It is user friendly with a 4 week out life at room temperature and has low tack for ease

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