Investor Overview / Sustainability / Our Lightweighting Solutions

Our Lightweighting Solutions

Our composite solutions help our customers enhance performance of their products while reducing weight, which decreases fuel consumption and associated carbon emissions. We have lightweight solutions that reduce noise pollution and solutions that help to produce clean and renewable energy.

The lightweight, adaptable nature of our materials makes products lighter, stronger and more durable. Therefore, our overall impact on the global environment is closely linked with our customers and their efforts to make products with a reduced impact on the environment. Whether the goal is to reduce fuel consumption, total lifecycle operating and maintenance costs or engine noise . . . or to enable alternative energy sources such as wind turbines to be more efficient . . . Hexcel composites are a vital component in the process.

Each new generation of commercial aircraft has used increasing quantities of advanced composites to replace metals and reduce weight for more fuel-efficient aircraft with lower CO2 emissions. Every kilogram of fuel saved by an aircraft reduces CO2 emissions by more than three kilograms1.

Moreover, composite-based parts are corrosion resistant and stronger, leading to longer-life and increased safety and performance.

Carbon Fiber is 5x STRONGER and 30% LIGHTER than aluminum

  • The composite-rich A350 provides a 25% advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft2.
  • Composite wing-tip extensions, such as those made by Hexcel, enhance fuel efficiency by improving airflow around the wing. For example, the Airbus A320 enjoying a 3.5% fuel efficiency improvement, reducing CO2 emissions by 900 tons annually per aircraft.3
  • Composite aircraft require fewer maintenance checks than metal aircraft as composites don’t corrode or suffer metal fatigue. The composite-intensive A350 requires 50% fewer structure maintenance tasks, and the threshold for airframe checks is twelve years, compared to eight for the A380, which has a metal fuselage and metal wings.4

A350

Airbus A350 with winglets
  • The LEAP engine uses lightweight and durable carbon fiber fan blades, leading to a 500 pound weight reduction per engine and a 15% improvement in fuel economy compared to predecessor metal fan blades.5
  • Our HexWeb® Acousti-Cap® sound attenuating honeycomb provides dramatic noise reduction during takeoff and landing without a structural weight penalty, such as a 40% noise reduction in the engine of the Boeing 737 MAX compared to its predecessor.6

Acousti cap detail

Honeycomb HexWeb® Acousti-Cap®
  • We have supported wind turbine production worldwide for more than 20 years with leading-edge composite solutions offering longer, lighter, stiffer and more efficient blades.

Wind energy

1 IATA: https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/environment/PublishingImages/ICOP%20FAQ%20general%20for%20airline%20participants%20jan%202016.pdf
2 Airbus: https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/corporate-topics/publications/backgrounders/Backgrounder-Airbus-Commercial-Aircraft-A350-XWB-Facts-and-Figures-EN.pdf
3 Airbus: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2013/10/airbus-launches-sharklet-retrofit-for-in-service-a320-family-aircraft.html
4 Airbus: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/news/en/2017/08/composites--airbus-continues-to-shape-the-future.html
5 CFM: https://www.cfmaeroengines.com/engines/leap/
6 Boeing Company: https://www.boeing.com/features/2016/09/737max-noise-09-16.page