Arkema and Hexcel’s new lab aims to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic prepreg tapes which are capable of producing lightweight parts for aircrafts of the future. The companies are keen to install an initial industrial pilot line in the new lab soon.
France – Arkema and Hexcel have recently 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.