Hexcel Corporation (NYSE: HXL) has been awarded a multi-year contract to produce aerospace structures made with HexPEKK-100 for the Boeing 777X. The parts will be manufactured via the HexAM by Hexcel process at the company’s additive manufacturing site near Hartford, Connecticut. The Boeing 777X family of aircraft also uses the large GE9X engines which feature over 300 metal 3D printed parts.
“We are pleased that Boeing has selected our additive manufacturing technology for these parts, and we appreciate their confidence in HexPEKK solutions for commercial aerospace applications,” said Colleen Pritchett, Hexcel President Aerospace, Americas & Fibers.
HexPEKK components can be manufactured to print for commercial aerospace, defense and space applications where complexity, lightweight and strong mechanical performance are critical. These 3Dprinted parts meet interior aircraft smoke and toxicity requirements. HexPEKK end-use components – as well as the HexAM by Hexcel additive manufacturing process – were added to Boeing’s Qualified Provider List (QPL) in 2019.
After a rigorous review, the materials and process were added to Boeing’s Qualified Provider List (QPL). Hexcel can provide high-rate serial part production with reduced lead-time and at a lower cost than traditional intricately machined aluminum or composite structures. HexAM additive manufacturing is a sophisticated merging of PEKK high-performance thermoplastic and thermoplastic powder bed fusion additive manufacturing technology, delivering a range of fully functional, end-use parts and components. HexPEKK-100 parts meet interior aircraft smoke and toxicity requirements and are ideal for complex components such as optimized brackets, environmental control system ducts, and castings.
Boeing 777X AM parts made by Hexcel include various airflow ducting applications, as well as other supporting elements on the aircraft. Production of these parts is expected to begin later this year.
The technology – which Hexcel acquired from Oxford Performance Materials – has been developed to fundamentally improve the way the world’s aircraft components are manufactured, fulfilling critical development and production contracts for 3D printed parts in a range of aircraft applications, combining high performance with significant weight and cost savings to our customers. Ideally suited for end-market applications, where functional complexity and weight reduction can have a substantial and positive impact on performance, HexAM by Hexcel also yields cost and energy savings.