Hexcel and Lavoisier Composites form an alliance to up-cycle composite by-products
Hexcel has joined forces with a Lyon-based startup, Lavoisier Composites. This company has developed Carbonium, a new generation of material sourced entirely from carbon composite by-products generated by the french aerospace sector.
Composed of two thirds of intermediate modulus carbon fiber and one third of high temperature epoxy, Carbonium brings its structural properties and a totally unique aesthetic to the parts obtained.
Hexcel supplies high-performance composite materials for the latest generation of aircraft such as the Airbus A350 XWB (53% composite structure). This has greatly contributed to the reduction of the aircraft's weight, thereby reducing its fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Composites are a significant first step toward tackling environmental and economic challenges, and eco-sourcing of the industry by-products also plays a key role.
Carbonium, which was developed with a process based on three patents pending, reduces overall environmental impact by 40-50%, compared to equivalent products derived from virgin materials. Based on the "climate change" factor, the life cycle assessment carried out with Hexcel revealed that the up-cycling of by-products from the aerospace composites industry leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 13kg per kg of Carbonium® used.
In its first year of operation, Lavoisier Composites has already enjoyed commercial success, including the launch of two top-of-the-range watch models by Swiss luxury watchmaker Ulysse Nardin using this new material.
From aircraft fuselages to watchmaking, the composites manufacturing cycle presents opportunities for reducing our impact on the environment.