Metstrade 2023: Hexcel to showcase new intermediate prepreg

Hexcel will continue to celebrate its 75th anniversary and highlight its latest developments for the Marine market at Metstrade 2023 on November 15-17.

The company will showcase innovative advanced lightweight material technologies including new intermediate and high modulus fiber HexPly M79 prepregs and present example high-performance superyacht and windship components developed by customers using Hexcel materials.

The new intermediate modulus prepreg combines the low temperature curing and simple processing of the DNV GL accredited HexPly M79 resin system with the stiffness of HexTow IM2C fibre, creating an optimised composite material for highly loaded components. Originally developed to provide best-in-class performance for America’s Cup and IMOCA hull and deck structures, the new combination minimises structural deformation under load in parts such as rigs, foils, and other appendages.

For a high modulus solution, HexTow HM54 fibre is also now available with the HexPly M79 resin system. The mechanical properties of HexTow HM54 fibre allow structural designers to achieve higher safety margins for both stiffness and strength critical applications. Both products can be manufactured with Hexcel G-Vent technology for out-of-autoclave processing, delivering a game-changing reduction in process time and cost without compromising mechanical performance.

Hexcel will also display customer products that have benefited from the performance and processing gains provided by HexPly materials. A section of a Solid Sail mast made using Bureau Veritas (BV)-approved HexPly M9.6 prepregs will be exhibited at METS. Such masts are used for wind propulsion and, by harnessing the power of ocean winds, they reduce reliance on engines, reducing fuel usage and emissions.

Visitors to the Hexcel booth will also see a section of a radar arch part from luxury motor yacht builder Sunseeker made using HexPly XF surfacing technology and HexPly SuperFIT semi-pregs. The part is lighter in weight and stiffer than versions made using resin-infusion processes and de-moulds with a pinhole-free surface that needs minimal preparation to be ready for painting. Sunseeker has recorded an overall reduction in process time and material costs of around 30% against traditional prepreg parts, using Hexcel advanced composite materials.

“Leveraging our experience in carbon fiber manufacturing and resin system development has created two stand-out products for the marine sector,” said Claude Despierres, Hexcel vice president – sales and marketing, industrial. “New IM2C and HM54 HexPlyM79 materials provide powerful yet lightweight building blocks for designers and engineers working on high-performance structures in superyacht, commercial marine and windship applications.”



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