Hexcel and Arkema have announced that they will open a joint research and development laboratory in Les Avenières (Isère), France in April.
This follows the companies’ previous announcement in March 2018 that they were forming a strategic alliance to develop thermoplastic composite solutions for the aerospace sector, combining the expertise of Hexcel in carbon fiber and Arkema in PEKK.
The companies’ objective at this new lab is to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic prepreg tapes to enable lightweight parts to be produced for future generations of aircraft. These solutions will provide lightweight and cost effective technologies including faster production cycles for customers in the aerospace and the space and defense sectors.
Thanks to Hexcel and Arkema’s close collaboration, an initial industrial pilot line will be installed in the new lab in the coming weeks. The companies expect to start supplying carbon/thermoplastic UD tapes from this pilot line to customers for evaluation beginning in Q3 2019.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibers, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.
A designer of materials and innovative solutions, Arkema shapes materials and creates new uses that accelerate customer performance. Our balanced business portfolio spans high-performance materials, industrial specialties and coating solutions. Our globally recognized brands are ranked among the leaders in the markets we serve. Reporting annual sales of €8.8 billion in 2018, we employ approximately 20,000 people worldwide and operate in close to 55 countries. We are committed to active engagement with all our stakeholders. Our research centers in North America, France and Asia concentrate on advances in bio-based products, new energies, water management, electronic solutions, lightweight materials and design, home efficiency and insulation.
Rachel Owen Sophie Meyniel
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