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Traded as NYSEHXL
Industry Advanced composite materials (engineering) in Aerospace, Defense, Wind energy, and Industrial
Founded January 1946; 71 years ago (1946-01)
Founders Roger C. Steele and Roscoe T. “Bud” Hughes
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut (U.S.)
Area served
Key people
Nick L. Stanage (Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer & President, Hexcel Corporation), Joel S. Beckman (Managing Partner, Greenbriar Equity Group LLC), Jeffrey C. Campbell (Executive Vice President and CFO American Express Company), Thomas A. Gendron (Chairman, CEO and President, Woodward, Inc.), Jeffrey A. Graves (CEO and President, MTS Systems Corporation)
Revenue Increase$2,004.3 million (2016) (FY 2016)[1]
Increase $360.1 million (2016) (FY 2016)[2]
Website Official website

Hexcel Corporation (NYSEHXL) is a public company that produces advanced composite materials (engineering).[3] The company develops and manufactures structural materials including carbon fiber, specialty reinforcements, resins, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered honeycomb composite structures, and prepregs (and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials).[4] Hexcel is a company resulting from the combination of California Reinforced Plastics (founded 1946), Ciba Composites (acquired 1995) and Hercules Composites Products Division (acquired 1995).[5] The company sells its products in commercial, military and recreational markets for use in commercial and military aircraft, space launch vehicles and satellites, wind turbine blades, sports equipment and automotive products. Hexcel works with major companies including Airbus Group, The Boeing Company, and others.[6] Since 1980, the firm has publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HXL.[7] Hexcel is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Russia, and Africa.[8][9]


1946 to 1970[edit]

Hexcel was founded in 1946 in San Francisco Bay by engineers Roger C. Steele and Roscoe T. “Bud” Hughes.[10] In 1948, chemist Ken Holland and economist Paul Ammen joined Hughes and Steele, and the company was incorporated in California, U.S. In 1955, the company's name changed to Hexcel Products, Inc. (the name derived from the hexagonal cell-shaped honeycomb materials that the company manufactured).[11]

Hexcel produced cellular structures made from galvanized fiberglass, as well as aluminum and other materials.[12] These were lighter in weight and stronger than steel, and became widely used in the aircraft industry.[13] Hexcel products also started being used in military and commercial aviation, as well as in the United States space program.[14] In 1968, Hexcel purchased Coast Manufacturing (including its manufacturing plants in California, Texas, and Ohio). In 1969, Harvie M. Merrill became CEO.[15]

Honeycomb composite material
Fabric roll

1970 to 1990[edit]

In 1971, the company manufactured and retailed skis made of composite materials. In 1974, Hexcel began supplying complex contoured parts (speed brakes on the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle). The same year, Ciba Composites sold Fibrelam® panels (the first non-metallic aircraft flooring materials) to Boeing for the Boeing 747 aircraft.[16]

In 1975, Hexcel acquired a company that specialized in graphite weaving technology and in 1977, it purchased Tower Scientific (a manufacturer of replacement knee, hip, and shoulder joints).[17] In 1980, the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1981 the company sold its line of medical products. Hexcel also purchased French glass fiber and woven industrial materials manufacturer Stevens-Genin S.A and Seal Sands Chemical Co. Ltd. (an English specialty chemicals manufacturer).[18] In 1983, the company was re-incorporated in Delaware. Hexcel Composites began to be used in major projects including the space shuttle Columbia and the Voyager aircraft.[19]

In 1986, Chairman of the Board and CEO Merrill retired as CEO and was succeeded by President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Witt.[20] In 1987, the company started plans to build a new $25 million plant in Chandler, Arizona to facilitate its participation in building the U.S. military's Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit (for which Hexcel provided "low observable" ["LO"] materials).[21] Company co-founder Roscoe “Bud” Thomas Hughes Jr. died in 1986. In the same year, Hexcel inaugurated the Kenneth M. Holland Research Center in Dublin, California. The company began developing its own resin systems and its own domestic supply of carbon fibers precursor in Decatur (Alabama). Hexcel’s Ciba-Geigy purchased Heath Tecna in 1988.[22]

1990 to 2000[edit]

In 1990, Hexcel started working with Japanese company Dai Nippon Printing and Chemicals. The firms began manufacturing Nomex honeycomb, advanced composites and decorative laminates for the Japanese market.[23] Also in 1990, the company started developing a resilient thermoplastic honeycomb called Hexalite.[24] Hexcel materials started being used in high-speed trains, fishing rods, golf clubs, baseball bats, bicycle frames, and other goods. The company also manufactured chemicals that were used as ingredients in Alka-Seltzer tablets, Scope (mouthwash), and Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup.[25]

In 1993, CEO Bob Witt resigned and was replaced by company directors John Lee and John Doyle. In 1994, Hexcel sold its Teesside, England fine chemicals business, as well as European resins businesses. In 1995, the company sold its U.S. resins operations. Also in 1995, Hexcel acquired Ciba Composites from Ciba-Geigy Limited. The business included prepregs, honeycomb, structures, film adhesives, panels and interiors. In 1996, the firm acquired the Composites Products Division of Hercules Incorporated. Included in the acquisition were Hercules facilities in Magna, Utah, Decatur, Alabama, and Madrid (Spain).[26]

In 1996, Hexcel moved its corporate headquarters from California to Stamford, Connecticut.[27] In 1997, Hexcel acquired Fiberite’s satellite prepreg product line. In 1998, Hexcel formed a partnership with Sika Finanz AG, a construction chemicals and structural adhesives company. The partnership resulted in the development and production of composite systems for the construction industry. Also in 1998, Hexcel acquired Clark-Schwebel.[28]

In 1999, Hexcel formed BHA Aero Composite parts with Boeing and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (formally known as China Aviation Industry Corporation).[29] Also in 1999, Hexcel formed Asian Composites Manufacturing with Boeing, Sime Darby Sdn. Bhd., and Naluri Berhad (formally Malaysian Helicopter Services) to manufacture composite parts for commercial aviation.[30]

Carbon fiber

2000 to Present[edit]

In 2001, David Berges was appointed Hexcel’s Chairman, President and CEO. In 2002, Hexcel inaugurated BHA Aero Composites Parts Co. Ltd (China) and Asian Composites Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia).[31] In October 2003, Hexcel opened a new production unit in Les Avenières (France) that focused on carbon fiber weaving and multiaxials.[32]

In 2004, Hexcel closed its Livermore (California) manufacturing facility and transferred its operations to its Salt Lake City facility. In 2005, the company supplied HexPly® M21 and 8552 prepregs, RTM 6 resins, Injectex® fabrics, Redux® adhesives, HexWeb® honeycombs and machined and heat-formed honeycomb parts to the Airbus A380 program.[33][34]

In 2007, Hexcel opened a prepreg plant in Stade (Germany). The same year, the company won the JEC aerospace innovation award for Acousti-Cap® noise-reducing honeycomb for aircraft engines.[35] In 2009, Hexcel began production of prepregs and other composite materials predominantly for the American wind energy industry. In 2013, Nick L. Stanage was named Hexcel’s President and Chief Executive Officer and joined the company’s Board of Directors.[36]

In 2014, company co-founder Roger C. Steele died at age 93. In September 2014, Hexcel started production of a new precursor and carbon fiber lines in Roussillon (France). In 2016, the company acquired Formax UK Limited, a manufacturer of composite reinforcements located in Leicester, U.K. In January 2016, Hexcel announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Casablanca, Morocco.[37]

In May 2016, Hexcel opened an Innovation Center in Duxford (U.K.).[38] It also formed a partnership with Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), a company that produces thermoplastic, carbon fiber reinforced 3D printed parts for Commercial aviation and Space and Defense applications.[39] In December 2016, Hexcel Corporation formed a partnership with Carbon Conversions Incorporated (CCI), a company that specializes in carbon fiber recycling and repurposing.[40]


Hexcel products are manufactured for the Commercial aviation, Space and Defense, and Industrial industries.[41] The company’s Composite Materials segment comprises carbon fiber, specialty reinforcements, resins, prepregs and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials, and honeycomb core product lines. The Engineered Products segment comprises lightweight high-strength composite structures, molded components, engineered core and honeycomb products.[42][43][44]

Product Description
Hexcel HexTow® Hexcel HexTow® is a carbon fiber used to manufacture all the CFM International LEAP engine fan blades and containment cases.
Hexcel HexPly® Hexcel HexPly® prepregs are resin matrix systems reinforced with fibers including carbon, glass and aramid. HexPly® M21E/IMA carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg is used to manufacture all composite primary structures of the Airbus A350 XWB.
HexForce® fabrics, multiaxials, NC2® Made from a variety of fibers including carbon, glass, aramid and other polymers, quartz, and ceramic. These reinforcements are used in the production of prepregs and other matrix materials used in primary and secondary structural aerospace applications (including wing compartments, horizontal and vertical stabilizer components, fairings, radomes and engine fan blades and cases, engine nacelles) Hexcel reinforcements are also used in the manufacture of a variety of industrial and recreational products such as wind energy blades, automotive components, oil exploration and production equipment, boats, surfboards, skis and other sporting goods equipment.
HexMC® Sheet molding material used for the high volume production of complex shapes designed for compression molding. They are often used in the production of sports goods, automotive and marine applications.
HexTool® A specialized form of HexMC® for use in the construction of high temperature resistant composite tooling.
HexFIT® Film infusion material that combines resin films and dry fiber reinforcements. It’s often used in production of large contoured composite structures such as wind turbine blades.
HexWeb® honeycomb A cellular structure generally composed of a sheet of nested hexagonal cells. It is produced from a number of raw products including aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, thermoplastics, non-flammable aramid papers, and aramid fibers.
Acousti-Cap® A non-metallic permeable cap material embedded into honeycomb core that is used in aircraft engine nacelles. Acousti-Cap® is used on the Boeing 747-8, Boeing 787 and Boeing 737 MAX nacelles.
HexFlow® Polymer matrix produced in liquid and film form for making composite parts.
Redux® Film and paste adhesives that bond metal to metal and composites to honeycomb structures. It is often used in aerospace and industrial applications.
Hexcel’s HexPly® M77 Resin system used in standalone and hybrid applications.

Plants and offices[edit]

City State Country
Burlington Washington U.S.
Casa Grande Arizona U.S.
Decatur Alabama U.S.
Kent Washington U.S.
Pottsville Pennsylvania U.S.
Salt Lake City Utah U.S.
Seguin Texas U.S.
Windsor Colorado U.S.
Duxford U.K.
Leicester U.K.
Dagneux France
Les Avenières France
Nantes France
Illescas Spain
Parla Spain
Stade Germany
Neumarkt Austria
Welkenraedt Belgium
Tianjin China

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Hexcel Reports Strong Fourth Quarter and Another Record Year". Hexcel. 
  2. ^ "Hexcel Reports Strong Fourth Quarter And Another Record Year". GlobeNewsWire l. 
  3. ^ "Hexcel to supply composite materials for H160 helicopter". Composite World. 
  4. ^ "Hexcel Corporation (HXL) Analysts See $0.69 EPS". Weekly Hub. 
  5. ^ "Hidden potential: An indifferent year for M&A belies a rich vein of opportunity for acquirers". CompositesWorld. 
  6. ^ "Composites Will Have Big Presence at 2017 Paris Air Show". Composites Manufacturing. 
  7. ^ "Hexcel Corp., The Investment That Can Replace Precision Castparts In Your Portfolio". Seeking Alpha. 
  8. ^ "Hexcel To Supply H160 Composites". Ain Online. 
  9. ^ "A comparison of the crack tip damage zone for fracture of Hexcel F185 neat resin and T6T145/F185 composite". Online Library. 
  10. ^ "Hexcel Corp.". Market Watch. 
  11. ^ "History & Timeline". Hexcel. 
  12. ^ "Hexcel Corporation History". Funding Universe. 
  13. ^ "Parts & Structures". Hexcel. 
  14. ^ "Exclusive: Boeing's space taxis to use more than 600 3D-printed parts". Reuters. 
  15. ^ "Hexcel Honeycomb Success". New York Times. 
  16. ^ "Hexcel Acting To Meet Increased Honeycomb Demand". Aviation Week. 
  17. ^ "Boeing reveals its ISS 'space taxi' will use over 600 3D-printed parts when it blasts off next year". Daily Mail. 
  18. ^ Guillet, Ginet (1991). Pierre Genin et Cie, Stevens-Genin, Hexcel-Genin, Hexcel: une histoire de notre société, de Genin à Hexcel. Gale Research. ISBN 0787689653. 
  19. ^ "Hexcel Corporation History". Funding Universe. 
  20. ^ "Robert Witt". Legacy. 
  21. ^ "Lockheed Secretly Demos New Stealthy Fighter Comms". Aviation Week. 
  22. ^ "Hexcel to acquire French composites producer Structil". Chemeng Online. 
  23. ^ "Global Tooling Composite Market 2017 – Cytec, Hexcel, TenCate, Sika AG". Long Short Report. 
  24. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the High-Top Sneaker". Esquire. 
  25. ^ "Hexcel". Encyclopedia. 
  26. ^ "Hexcel, History and Timeline". Hexcel. 
  27. ^ "Yachtbuilding Composites: Rigged for Success". Composites World. 
  28. ^ "SIKA And Hexcel Launch Alliance In Composite Systems For Construction Industry". Corporate. 
  29. ^ "Boeing, Hexcel and Aviation Industries of China announce joint venture". Aviation Week. 
  30. ^ "Boeing Announces Collaboration on Joint-Venture in Malaysia". Boeing. 
  31. ^ "Hexcel". Bloomberg. 
  32. ^ "Hexcel Reinforcement". Industry Usinenouvelle. 
  33. ^ "Hexcel Salt Lake City, Utah". Commerce.com. 
  34. ^ "Prepregs & Resins". Hexcel. 
  35. ^ "Hexcel Stade". Hexcel. 
  36. ^ "Nick l. Stanage named chief executive officer of Hexcel corporation". JEC Composites. 
  37. ^ "Morocco: American Hexcel Settles in Casablanca". Morocco On The Move. 
  38. ^ "Hexcel Duxford". Hexcel. 
  39. ^ "Oxford Performance Materials Announces Second Round of Strategic Investment from Hexcel Corporation". Oxford PM. 
  40. ^ "Hexcel has made a strategic investment in Carbon Conversions Incorporated". Business Insider. 
  41. ^ "Commercial Aerospace". Hexcel. 
  42. ^ "A self-healing thermosetting composite material". Science Direct. 
  43. ^ "A comparison of the crack tip damage zone for fracture of Hexcel F185 neat resin and T6T145/F185 compositel". Online Library. 
  44. ^ "Study of drilling of composite material and aluminum stack". Science Direct.