May 31, 2016 | By Tess

Stamford, Connecticut-based materials company Hexcel has just announced that it has made a significant and strategic investment into Oxford Performance Materials (OPM). The investment marks a new partnership between Hexcel and OPM, a leader in advanced materials and additive manufacturing.

Founded over 50 years ago, Hexcel has made a name for itself in the production of advanced composite materials and is one of the largest producers of carbon fiber in the United States. Connecticut-based Oxford Performance Materials, for its part, was founded in 1998 and has become a leading company in the field of high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM). Significantly, OPM also manufactures thermoplastic, carbon fiber reinforced 3D printed parts for applications in the aerospace and defense industries. According to a press release, the new partnership will help to solidify and advance the commercial application of 3D printing technology for the aerospace industry.

Nick Stanage, Chairman, CEO and President of Hexcel said of the recent partnership, “Aerospace adoption of reinforced manufactured parts using Hexcel carbon fiber is becoming a viable and meaningful design solution due to its performance and processing advantages. With the adoption of these lightweight, high-performing materials expected to accelerate, this is an ideal opportunity for our two companies to work together enabling faster product development and adoption for our customers.”

Hexcel’s carbon fiber materials have already been used by OPM in the manufacturing of its 3D printed OXFAB ESD structural parts, which are used for a number of aerospace programs. With the investment, Hexcel is furthering its interest in OPM’s high performance additive manufacturing, which delivers high quality, fully functional end parts. Specifically, Hexcel is interested in how carbon fiber reinforced structures could optimize OPM’s 3D printing system for the benefit of the aerospace industry.

Scott DeFelice, OPM’s Chairman and CEO added, “Hexcel represents the gold standard in carbon fiber and composite material technologies, and our core target markets are extremely complementary. Hexcel’s investment in OPM will help enable us to further expand production capacity to meet rapidly growing market demand for our OXFAB® technology. In addition, this investment sets the stage for joint technology collaboration and business development efforts with Hexcel.”

Carbon fiber reinforced 3D printed parts are becoming a disruptive force in the 3D printing industry, offering an added level of strength and stiffness, chemical and temperature resistance, and good conductivity to 3D printing materials. With Hexcel and OPM’s recent investment partnership, perhaps we will see some significant developments within carbon fiber 3D printing applications.




Posted in 3D Printer Company



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