PARIS, June 2015. At this year’s Paris Air Show, Hexcel is promoting a range of composite technologies from carbon fiber, reinforcements, and resin formulations to honeycomb with added functionality. Composite materials are used increasingly in civil aircraft, engines, helicopters, and space applications for weight-saving, enhanced performance, design optimization, and improved fuel efficiency.
Hexcel has leading positions on new aircraft programs, including the A350 XWB, Boeing 787, A320 NEO, and B737MAX. Hexcel’s content on the A350 XWB is $5 million per aircraft and includes the carbon fiber prepreg for all the composite primary structures. Hexcel also won a Safran contract to supply carbon fiber for all CFM LEAP-1 engine fan blades and containment cases.
To meet the growing demand for composites in the aerospace industry, Hexcel is investing in capacity expansions at facilities in Europe and the U.S. Last November, Hexcel celebrated the ground-breaking at its new Innovation Center in Duxford, U.K. and announced additional investments in capacity expansions for resin film, prepreg, and honeycomb core at the site.
Last month, Hexcel launched its new carbon fiber plant in France. This $250 million investment in polymerization and carbonization lines will occupy a 37-acre site at the Osiris Chemicals Industry Platform in Roussillon in the Rhone-Alpes region.
“The plant is part of Hexcel’s ongoing worldwide investment to create a diversified and robust supply chain to support aerospace customers’ growing demand for carbon fiber composites,” officials say. Construction of the new plant will begin by September 2015, and it is expected to employ 120 people when fully operational in early 2018.
On May 21, Hexcel announced further investments totaling $22 million in capacity expansions at its carbon fiber weaving plant at Les Avenieres and an additional resin impregnation line in Dagneux, France. These additional investments are expected to create 100 more jobs by 2018. Hexcel currently employs close to 1,000 people in France.
Hexcel Corporation, an advanced composites company, develops, manufactures, and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers, reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives, and composite structures used in commercial aerospace, space, and defense applications.