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Home / News / Hexcel and NaCa collaborating for composite car seat back

Hexcel and NaCa collaborating for composite car seat back

Feb '20
Pic: Hexcel Corp
Pic: Hexcel Corp
Hexcel is collaborating with NaCa Systems, a tier I supplier of natural fibre composite automotive interior parts, on development of a lightweight carbon fibre prepreg and wood fibre composite sportscar seat back using a rapid press moulding process. The innovation validates a short cycle time production process for CFRP and wood fibre composite parts.

Hexcel supplies NaCa Systems with an optimised version of its HexPly M77CS epoxy prepreg material. HexPly M77CS is a fast curing hotmelt, thermosetting epoxy matrix, specifically designed for prepreg applications for which short cure cycles and clear surfaces with perfect aesthetics are required.

Hexcel’s newly developed version of the M77CS prepreg has an increased resin content to optimise the CFRP to wood fibre composite bond strength despite the slightly higher resin uptake seen with the natural material component. The carbon fibre prepreg is cured at around 145°C for four to five minutes and can be fully integrated into NaCa Systems existing production lines and metallic tooling.

The lightweight seat back demonstrates a 40 per cent weight saving compared to a typical injection moulded plastic component whilst also featuring a significantly improved CO2 footprint vs a full carbon part. Unlike plastic moulded parts, the prepreg and wood fibre structure doesn’t produce sharp edged pieces when damaged, significantly increasing passenger safety in a crash scenario. In addition, wood fibre composites also increase sound absorption, contributing to improved NVH damping within the vehicle interior.

“Hexcel has been a fantastic technology partner for our latest natural fibre and carbon composite hybrid parts. For us it is important to work with a prepreg supplier who can tailor the materials to work with our processes and that can deliver consistent quality as we grow rapidly in response to OEM’s continued drive for more sustainable composite solutions,” said Aleš Kopal - CEO, NaCa Systems.

The NaCa Systems seat back will be on display on the Hexcel stand at JEC World 2020.

Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibres, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fibre-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)

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