Hexcel is pleased to announce the launch of its latest HexAM materials technology, technology, HexPEKK EM – an electrically conductive, high-performance, PEKK-based thermoplastic carbon fibre composite additive manufacturing material offering industry-leading performance.
HexPEKK EM integrates advanced electromagnetic (EM) performance within complex 3D-printed components for the Commercial Aerospace, Defense, and Military sectors. HexPEKK EM composite components are flight-ready after printing.
Formulated specifically to meet the static electricity management, electromagnetic shielding, and radiation absorption requirements of advanced aircraft applications, the new PEKK carbon-fibre-blended material delivers unique electrical performance that complements Hexcel's current portfolio of carbon fibre-based and unfilled neat resin HexPEKK 100 material offerings. Manufactured using the aerospace industry qualified HexAM process, HexPEKK EM components exhibit best-in-class environmental, operational temperature, and chemical resistant performance attainable in the aerospace industry.
By integrating this enhanced EM performance into additive manufactured components, HexPEKK EM parts do not require costly and time-consuming secondary processing steps, such as the application of conductive coating for the management of electromagnetic interference or radiation absorption.
Target applications for HexPEKK EM cover a broad range of products such as exterior surfaces, leading edges, air inlets, electronic enclosures, and cockpit structures for commercial airplanes, military aircraft, helicopters, and UAV components.
HexPEKK EM components will be produced at Hexcel's Hartford (CT) plant, where the company continues to develop the HexAM additive manufacturing process using powder bed fusion technology to fundamentally improve the way the world's aircraft components are manufactured.
Lawrence Varholak, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Hexcel, said, "The management of static electricity dissipation, electromagnetic interference, and radiation absorption is extremely important in the design of all air vehicles. The introduction of this advanced additive manufacturing material will enable the fabrication of extremely complex aerostructures with unparalleled structural and electrical functionality. It significantly reduces weight and cost while providing unlimited design flexibility."
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