A ceremony was held at Hexcel’s Duxford, site in the UK to celebrate the ground-breaking for a new £6 million R&T facility and additional investments for capacity expansions at the site.
The Duxford site is Hexcel’s largest centre for research into resin systems and adhesives, the site is also the company’s centre of excellence for process technology including product scale-up and research into new process methods for making composite materials, including quality control methods.
The company wants to create a brand new facility to house all its chemistry functions, to further expand R&T expertise and continue the development of leading edge technologies that will enable composite materials to go further into more industrial markets.
The new investment includes the expansion of the company’s mixing and filming systems to support large scale production of the composite materials required for the Airbus A350 XWB program. Resin films produced in Hexcel Duxford are combined with carbon fibre and converted into unidirectional prepreg at Hexcel plants in France, Spain, Germany and the USA.
Hexcel has also announced that it will invest in a new prepreg tower and honeycomb capacity expansions. The prepreg tower is expected to be qualified by early 2017 to support the increasing demand for aerospace programs including the A350 XWB.
Construction of the Innovation Centre is scheduled for completion in 2016 and is expected to create around 100 new jobs by 2017.