HexTOOL® Composite Tooling Material

HexTOOL® composite tooling material combines tolerance accuracy with extreme lightness

HexTOOL® is Hexcel’s new patented composite tooling material that, for the first time, enables the tolerance accuracy achieved with metals to be combined with the extreme lightness of carbon fiber composites. HexTOOL® molds are easy to repair and are simple to modify. This new concept for lightweight, efficient large-scale tools is cost-effective compared with conventional composite tools and metal molds, especially those made from Invar®.

Material Aluminum Invar® Tooling Prepreg Infusion HexTOOL®
Density 2.75 8.1 1.55 1.55 1.55
Process Machining Machining Prepreg layup Autoclave Fabric layup Vacuum infusion HexTOOL® Layup Autoclave machining
Main Advantages Cheap-Light Well known technology Low CTE Well known technology Light/Low temp cure/ Master Mold No autoclave Light Low CTE-Light Machinable, easy repair, design flexibility, Good dimension tolerances
Main drawbacks High CTE-> no big tools Difficult repair Weight/ Thermal inertia/Cost/ Difficult repair Non- machinable/ Master Mold technology/ No repair High tech process/Non machinable/ Master mold /No repair New technology High temp cure

Since the launch of HexTOOL®, several leading tooling engineers have used the material confirming the benefits of the technology. They have noted that dimensional stability is maintained, at tolerances very close to those achieved with metal tooling and that vacuum integrity is assured, even in heavily machined areas. Long tool life, ease of use, and the machinability of cured structures are some of the primary reasons HexTOOL® is being chosen for the tooling for parts on new generation aircraft worldwide.