Hexcel composite materials have helped to make the impossible possible for more than 70 years. From honeycomb core used in early spacecraft and airplanes for strength and lightweighting to today’s advanced composites in next-generation aircraft, helicopters, high-performance cars, sporting equipment and even rovers on Mars, composite materials are making it possible for us to go faster, farther and more efficiently. Today’s designers, engineers and dreamers are creating the next big ideas and composites will help turn those dreams into reality tomorrow.
Composites make air travel more fuel efficient and quieter
Every time you fly, the composite materials used to build your airplane are keeping you safer and more comfortable. Aerospace manufacturers continuously work to make airplanes lighter and more fuel efficient, which also reduces CO2 emissions. As they do, they turn increasingly toward advanced composites such as carbon fiber prepreg, engineered core, thermoplastics and carbon fiber-reinforced 3D printed parts. Over the years, composite content has increased significantly -- from less than 10% composite content in the 1980s to more than 50% composite content on today’s aircraft. Composites are found in fuselages, wings, nacelles, engines, interiors and more. Not only do composites make aircraft lighter and stronger but they also make them quieter thanks to more efficient fan blades and sound-dampening nacelles.
Composites make it possible for athletes to reach new performance levels
Athletes push the limits to perform at higher levels and set new records, and composite materials help them reach their goals. With bicycles, skis, racquets, golf clubs, hockey sticks and more increasingly using composite materials, sports equipment has become lighter, more responsive, more durable and better engineered to provide increased performance.
Composites make the future more exciting
Hexcel engineers and scientists are innovating today to make the world tomorrow better. Innovations such as hydrogen-fueled aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles will be possible thanks to advanced composites. At Hexcel, we never stop investing in new technology and currently are building a flagship Center of Excellence for Research & Technology to support next-generation developments in advanced composites technologies, based in Utah. It is further evidence that Hexcel is propelling the future of flight, energy generation, transportation and recreation through excellence in advanced material solutions that create a better world for us all.
Composites make heroic feats possible
Advanced helicopters today are put into some of the most challenging environments as they help rescue lives, deliver needed supplies or transport people and troops safely. Composites help to make these vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient, and they help to reduce maintenance costs which keeps these critical aircraft in service longer.
Composites make cars safer and more fuel efficient
Composite materials such as carbon and glass fiber structures have been used in Formula 1 and high-performance vehicles for many years. But did you know that they aren’t just for show? Sure, they look great yet more and more, car manufacturers are including composites in their designs to improve safety without adding weight as well as replacing heavy materials to make the cars lighter and more fuel efficient. That fuel efficiency doesn’t just help drivers’ wallets but also helps to reduce CO2 emissions.