Hexcel, Arkema join forces in thermoplastic composites

Strategic alliance combines Hexcel’s expertise in carbon fiber, Arkema’s in PEKK.

Hexcel and Arkema executives have signed a strategic alliance to develop thermoplastic composite solutions for the aerospace sector combining the expertise of Hexcel in carbon fiber and that of Arkema in PEKK.

The partnership aims to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic tapes to produce lightweight parts for future generations of aircraft. In addition to lightweighting, these new composites will offer lower cost and faster production speeds for customers in aerospace, space, and defense.

A joint research and development laboratory in France will be established.

“I am delighted to announce this partnership with Hexcel, a leading advanced composites supplier to the aerospace industry. This association fits in clearly with our strategy to develop advanced thermoplastic composite solutions from our PEKK resins and takes effect a few months before the commissioning of our new PEKK plant in the United States in Mobile, Alabama, scheduled for the end of 2018,” stated Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema chairman and CEO.

Nick Stanage, Hexcel chairman and CEO, said, “We’re excited to join this collaboration with Arkema to continue exploring and defining the future of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics in the aerospace industry. With this opportunity and our recent acquisition of the aerospace and defense business of Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), Hexcel is quickly becoming an industry leader in advanced composite thermoplastic technologies.”

Hexcel Corp. 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.

Arkema’s portfolio spans high-performance materials, industrial specialties, and coating solutions.

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