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New carbon fibre prepregs for the Marine industry

Hexcel will showcase powerful yet lightweight building blocks for designers and engineers in Amsterdam.

31st October 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Stamford, CT, USA


Hexcel will continue to celebrate its 75th anniversary and highlight its latest developments for the Marine market at the Metstrade 2023 exhibition in Amsterdam  from November 15-17.

Advanced lightweight material technologies include HexPly M79, a new intermediate and high modulus fibre prepreg that is already being employed in high-performance superyacht and windship components developed by customers.

The prepreg combines the M79 resin system, which is suitable for low temperature curing and enables simple processing, with HexTow IM2C fibre, to create a uniquely optimised composite material for highly loaded components.

Originally developed to provide best-in-class performance for hull and deck structures, the new combination minimises structural deformation under load in parts such as rigs, foils and other appendages.

For a high modulus solution, HexTow HM54 fibre is also now available with the HexPly M79 resin system. The mechanical properties of HexTow HM54 allow structural designers to achieve higher safety margins for both stiffness and strength-critical applications. Both products can be manufactured with Hexcel G-Vent technology for out-of-autoclave processing, delivering a significant reduction in process time and cost without compromising mechanical performance.

Hexcel will also display customer products that have benefited from the performance and processing gains provided by HexPly materials. A section of a solid sail mast made using Bureau Veritas-approved HexPly M9.6 prepregs will be exhibited at Metstrade. Such masts are used for wind propulsion and by harnessing the power of ocean winds, reduce reliance on engines, reducing fuel usage and emissions.

Visitors to the Hexcel booth will also see a section of a radar arch part from luxury motor yacht builder Sunseeker made using HexPly XF surfacing technology and HexPly SuperFIT semi-pregs. The part is lighter in weight and stiffer than versions made using resin-infusion processes and de-moulds, with a pinhole-free surface that needs minimal preparation to be ready for painting. Sunseeker has recorded an overall reduction in process time and material costs of around 30% against traditional prepreg parts using Hexcel advanced composite materials.

“Leveraging our experience in carbon fibre manufacturing and resin system development has created two stand-out products for the marine sector,” said Claude Despierres, Hexcel vice president of industrial sales and marketing. “New IM2C and HM54 HexPlyM79 materials provide powerful yet lightweight building blocks for designers and engineers working on high-performance structures in superyacht, commercial marine and windship applications.”

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