Hexcel produced the first composite skis on a commercial scale in the early 1970s and continued manufacturing this highly successful brand for over a decade. Hexcel no longer manufactures skis, but we are “the strength within” the best brands on the market today, working in partnership with customers to develop optimized prepregs, laminates and polyurethane systems to meet specific design requirements. Our skilled technical support team helps customers to select the best materials and processing techniques, and provides training for those who are new to composite and polyurethane technologies.
Each year Hexcel delivers millions of linear meters of fiber-reinforced laminates and prepregs for ski manufacture, with enduring high quality and consistency. HexPly® M78.1 prepreg is fast curing, easy to handle, and provides outstanding adhesion to aluminum, wood and thermoplastics. A wide range of HexPly M78.1 standard products has been developed starting with low areal weight fleeces for bonding, and medium to high areal weight glass fiber reinforcements which are tailored to ensure excellent cost/performance ratio. Hexcel has also developed superior carbon fiber based prepregs for high-performance applications.
For customers who require a pre-cured laminate as a ski reinforcement layer, Hexcel offers a wide range of Polyspeed® laminates. This offers excellent mechanical stiffness to weight properties and, if requested, pre-treated surfaces for adhesion. Reinforcements can vary between unidirectional, woven and grid-based carbon, glass, aramide or hybrid products. Hexcel can offer laminates in full width, slit rolls or customized sheets.
With the development of Polyurethanes for resin injection Hexcel has introduced this innovation to ski manufacturers as a highly cost-effective production technique. Energy absorbing polyurethane foams are effective core materials for skis and also used in safety helmets, making it possible to produce smaller, lighter designs with the same safety performance as larger helmets made from conventional polystyrene foam.