Press Release: Hexcel improves electromagnetic performance of 3D parts

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Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueHexcel is pleased to announce the launch of its latest HexAM® materials technology, HexPEKK®EM–an electrically conductive, high-­performance, PEKK-­based thermoplastic carbon fiber composite additive manufacturing material offering industry-­leading performance.

HexPEKK®EM integrates advanced electromagnetic (EM) performance within complex 3D-­printed components for the Commercial Aerospace, Defense, and Military sectors. HexPEKK®EM composite components are flight-­ready after printing.

Formulated specifically to meet the static electricity management, electromagnetic shielding, and radiation absorption requirements of advanced aircraft applications, the new PEKK carbon-­fiber-­blended material delivers unique electrical performance that complements Hexcel’s current portfolio of carbon fiber-­based and unfilled neat resin HexPEKK®100 material offerings. Manufactured using the aerospace industry qualified HexAM® process, HexPEKK®EM components exhibit best-­in-­class environmental, operational temperature, and chemical resistant performance attainable in the aerospace industry.

By integrating this enhanced EM performance into additive manufactured components, HexPEKK®EM parts do not require costly and time-­consuming secondary processing steps, such as the application of conductive coating for the management of electromagnetic interference or radiation absorption.

Target applications for HexPEKK®EM cover a broad range of products such as exterior surfaces, leading edges, air inlets, electronic enclosures, and cockpit structures for commercial airplanes, military aircraft, helicopters, and UAV components.

HexPEKK®EM components will be produced at Hexcel’s Hartford(CT) plant, where the company continues to develop the HexAM® additive manufacturing process using powder bed fusion technology to fundamentally improve the way the world’s aircraft components are manufactured.

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Lawrence Varholak, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Hexcel,said, “The management of static electricity dissipation, electromagnetic interference,and radiation absorption is extremely important in the design of all air vehicles. The introduction of this advanced additive manufacturing material will enable the fabrication of extremely complex aerostructures with unparalleled structural and electrical functionality. It significantly reduces weight and cost while providing unlimited design flexibility.”

About Hexcel

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.