Composites Today

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Prepreg system combining natural fibres with bio-derived epoxy resins

Pictured is a ski manufactured by Blizzard using HexPly® Nature Range with bio-derived epoxy resin content and natural fiber reinforcement.

Hexcel has developed a new product range that combines Hexcel resin systems made with bio-derived resin content with natural fiber reinforcements to create material solutions for Automotive, Winter Sports, Marine and Wind Energy applications.

According to a press release, HexPly® Nature Range includes proven resins such as HexPly M49, M78.1-LT and M79 but with bio-derived epoxy resin content. The excellent resin characteristics remain unchanged in the new Nature Range products, maintaining high mechanical performance and consistent processing properties.

In addition, the HexPlyNature Range provides prepreg options with natural fiber reinforcements that can be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes.

Hexcel worked with TÜV Austria to provide independent, high-quality measurement and assessment of the bio-content of HexPly Nature Range products. TÜV Austria’s OK biobased certification uses a standardized measurement of the biobased carbon content enabling transparency and easy like-for-like comparison between products.

At JEC World in Paris on May 3-5, Hexcel presented an alpine ski produced by the Tecnica Group Ski Excellence Center which produces skis for Blizzard and for Nordica using HexPly Nature Range M78.1-LT UD flax fiber prepreg. In addition to providing a bio-based material solution, the natural fiber-reinforced prepreg also offers the potential to improve impact performance and vibration damping in the ski. Claude Despierres, VP of Sales and Marketing – Industrial at Hexcel, said, “Our new HexPly Nature Range forms an important part of providing customers with biobased, TÜV-certified material options based on our established prepreg resin systems. Marine, winter sports, wind energy and automotive manufacturers can now have the choice to switch from petroleum-based material solutions to Hexcel HexPlyNature Range with no compromise in performance or process efficiency.”

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