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Hexcel: New plant for advanced composites

News 11.10.2018
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Last week, Hexcel has officially opened its new plant at the Les Roches-Roussillon Chemicals Industry Platform in Isère, France. The new 37-acre plant is the company's first first combined precursor and carbon fiber plant outside the United States. Four years after the project launch, the site is operational and increasing Hexcel's global carbon fiber production capacity. Hexcel invested 200 million Euros in the plant that will generate 120 direct and 250 indirect jobs.

The new facility is part of Hexcel's ongoing worldwide investment to create a diversified and robust global supply chain to support aerospace customers' growing demand for carbon fiber composites. Since 2015, Hexcel has invested in all its locations worldwide, largely to support the growing demand for composites and the development of aerospace industry programs such as Airbus (A350 XWB) and Safran (CFM International LEAP engine).

Based at the Osiris Chemicals Industry Platform, the location was chosen by Hexcel due to its proximity to Hexcel customers, other Hexcel sites, its quality infrastructure and operational excellence, and the availability of competitively priced electricity in France.

Increased investment in Research and Development

Thierry Merlot, Hexcel President, Aerospace -- Europe/Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa, said: "Recent acquisitions and partnerships have enabled us to diversify and acquire new technology solutions such as additive manufacturing, adhesives, pultrusion processes and thermoplastics. For this purpose, this year we signed a strategic partnership with Arkema to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and set up a new joint research and development unit in France."

The launch of a 3,500m2 R&D center at the Hexcel Les Avenières site is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. The center will focus on new processes and out-of-autoclave technologies. This will support innovations in high-performance composites and continue to grow its market share in composite materials for aerostructure applications.

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