Hexcel Corporation (Hexcel) is an advanced composites company. Hexcel develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance composites, including carbon fibers, reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures, for use in the commercial aerospace, space and defense, and industrial applications. Its products are used in a variety of end applications, such as commercial and military aircraft, space launch vehicles and satellites, wind turbine blades, automotive, bikes, skis and a variety of other industrial applications. Hexcel has two segments: Composite Materials and Engineered Products. The Company serves international markets through manufacturing facilities and sales offices located in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe. More from Reuters »
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Quick points why it is the right time for HXL
- China is investing 14.6 billion dollars in wind energy
- Vestas wind systems (VWS.CO) and Gemesa (GAM) account for 40% of all wind turbine sales. Both companies use HXL material to make their blades
- HXL openned a plant in china last year (20% estimated growth in china this year) to cope with demand and also a plant in colorado.
- We know that President Obama wants to guide the US into renewable energy
- England doubling investment in wind energy
- HXL provides material for Boeing and airbus (each of the new Boeing 787 have around $1.5 million of HXl material
- China has 30 to 50 airports under construction currently (not sure on exact number
- China accounts for 10% of orders of Boeing 782
- UNITED has put in an order currently under bid (boeing vs airbus) for 150 planes
- Boeing and Airbus both use HXL products in their aircrafts
- Airlines, Wind energy = HUGE POTENTIAL GROWTH
LUTZ recommends HXL as a china play
When Business Meets Nature
Hexcel is a manufacturer of high-performance composites including carbon fibers, prepregs, adhesives, and honeycomb. Honeycomb is a firm, light weight material modeled after the honeycombs from nature that we’re all familiar with. Hexcel was the first company to manufacture honeycomb for commercial purposes and the honeycomb is a frequent theme in the company’s marketing efforts.
Hexcel’s products are primarily used by the aerospace industry in commercial, military, and space applications. However, it also sells its products for several industrial applications including wind turbine blades, sports equipment, automotive uses, and high-speed trains.
Significant Markets and Customers
Hexcel operates in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Net sales to Europe constituted 51% of their total sales for 2008, while sales to the United States amounted to 36%. In the most recent 10-K, the company states that the rest of its sales (approximately 13% of the total) were ‘to other nations’; it might be safe to assume that a significant chunk of that was in the Chinese market.
Nearly a quarter of Hexcel’s sales have been to Boeing (BA) over the past three years, most of it concentrated in the commercial aerospace market and the rest was used in space and defense applications. A quarter of Hexcel’s sales over the past few years have been to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADSF.PK); as with Boeing, most of that was concentrated in commercial aerospace. Wind turbine producer Vestas Wind Systems (VWSYF.PK) accounted for 11% of Hexcel’s 2008 sales.
WIND WIND WIND = green energy
Hexcel introduced prepregs to the wind turbine industry over 15 years ago. Composites have enabled blade sizes to grow to today's giant proportions, making wind power the world's fastest growing energy source.
We work closely with our customers to develop products that are tailored to their specific requirements. This approach has enabled us to develop prepregs that cure faster, at lower temperatures; to develop new fiber-reinforced matrix solutions for rapid cost-effective processing; to develop paste adhesives for bonding shells; and gel coats that provide a hard-wearing finish.
Hexcel is one of the few composite suppliers that manufactures carbon fiber in-house. This, combined with our dedicated weaving facilities, enables us to design composite reinforcements in glass and carbon - and hybrids of the two. We are the composite specialists, with dedicated R&T facilites in Europe and the USA. Our global technical support team will assist with materials selection, processing, and can provide training to those who are new to composites technology.
Hexcel products for wind energy include:
> HexTow™ AS3C carbon fiber
> HexFIT® film infusion materials
> HexForce™ reinforcements
> HexPly® prepregs
> Pre-cured materials (glass grid laminates, carbon laminates) for infused blades
> HexForce™ peel ply
> HexWeb® honeycombs
Benefits of manufacturing wind blades in composites:
> Optimized structural design
> Consistent fiber volume ratios
> Lower and consistent blade weight
> Pure UD materials with optimized performance/cost ratio
> High strength and fatigue properties
> Short total processing and cure cycle
> Clean working environment
> Low exotherm, enabling curing and co-curing of mulit-ply laminates, eg. carbon with glass
> Minimized stresses caused by differences in thermal expansion