HiTape® Reinforcements

HiTape® innovative high performance dry unidirectional reinforcements are designed to meet the requirements of Aircraft Primary Structures made by cost-effective Out of Autoclave (OOA) technologies such as vacuum infusion or injection.

HiTape Product Illustration

HiTape® allows dry preforms to be manufactured in a fully automated lay-up, similar to the AFP and ATL processes widely used for UD prepregs. The tight width tolerance of HiTape® gives total control of the automated dry preform process – and it is a waste-free operation, even for complex structures, as the materials are placed exactly where required.

Using OOA vacuum infusion technology, Aircraft structures made with HiTape® demonstrate fiber volume content and mechanical properties that are very similar to parts made with the latest generation primary structure prepregs. HiTape® gives particularly high Compression After Impact (CAI) performance, which is a real breakthrough in infusion technologies with unidirectional carbon reinforcements.
Based on HexTow® carbon fibers, Hexcel supplies HiTape® with HexFlow® infusion epoxy resins for optimum mechanical performances and infusion/injection processing.

Click to read article published in SAMPE magazine 2015

Customer evaluations have demonstrated that significant cost-savings are achievable with HiTape® and the associated vacuum infusion process. The materials allow the part design to be optimized, including function integration. The automated dry preform process is simplified, without any splicing of materials or polythene film to remove. There is no need to apply pressure to consolidate the preform and remove air as this occurs later when vacuum is applied. Very high preform lay-up outputs are achieved and another cost-saving benefit is that no refrigerator storage is required due to the dry nature of the reinforcements.

HiTape CAI   HiTape GIc Index

Mechanical Properties

HiTape® Reinforcements for Primary Aircraft Structures

An innovative composite solution for cost effective Primary Aircraft Structures:

  • A fully controlled automated process for dry preforms
  • Depending on part design, targeting dry preform outputs allowing high production rate
  • HiTape® is available in different versions enabling vacuum infusion of parts up to 30 mm thick with a 58 to 60 % Fiber Volume Content
  • With infusion technologies, high fiber volume content and high mechanical performance including toughness are assured

Hexcel is developing, internal or in collaboration with external partners, all steps, from dry preform to infusion, of the manufacturing process of composites parts made by OOA RTM/infusion technologies. This includes academic work with Mines St Etienne Engineering School, to understand, predict and model the resin flow through HiTape® dry preform. All this work aims to ease and to support the introduction of these materials and technologies in the aerospace markets.

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