Hexcel launches £7.4m project to create carbon fibre fabrics for aircraft and automotive parts

Hexcel is launching a four-year Multi AXial Infused Materials (MAXIM) project, a Government-backed £7.4 million research and development project. The MAXIM project, backed by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute and match-funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be responsible for developing progressive, cost-effective materials and manufacturing solutions for large aerospace and automotive composite structures such as aircraft wings and car bodies.

Business Minister Richard Harrington said: “MAXIM is a welcome investment in the Midlands economy and the UK aerospace and automotive sectors, supporting the type of high-skilled jobs we are committed to delivering through our Industrial Strategy.”

Converting prepreg into solid parts requires huge pressurised ovens, known as autoclaves. The MAXIM project will explore the manufacture of new carbon fibre fabric forms and resins that can be made into parts without using autoclaves.The aim is to enable complex metal structures, such as aircraft wings, to be manufactured more cost effectively and at faster production rates from composites.

Hexcel is also investing by expanding its Leicester plant by installing a state-of-the art machine for carbon non-crimp fabrics development and lab equipment for research into this technology. The NCC will be working closely with Hexcel to offer support with material handling and part processing.

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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