E X C E L M A R K E T S
leading-edge technology and advanced structural
materials have played a key role
in the revolution in sports and recreation
equipment. And the company has branched out into many segments of
the sports and recreation market.
carbon honeycomb, between layers of carbon fiber, makes Trek mountain
bikes lighter and stronger.
1998 Pro Forma Hexcel Sales: $1,235 million
Total 1998 Pro Forma Sports and Recreation Sales: $56 million,
Hexcel’s warp glass fabric is thinner and lies flatter than conventional
fabrics, so less resin is required in board construction.
The result is a stronger, lighter, more durable surfboard.
While the company no longer markets its own brand of skis, it
remains at the forefront of ski technology, partnering with many
major ski manufacturers, including Atomic, Elan, Head, Salomon
S PARTICIPATION in the sports and recreation market began in 1971,
when the company brought a number of materials and technologies together
into a single finished consumer product and introduced the Hexcel brand
of snow skis. The fast, lightweight, durable skis quickly became a status
symbol on slopes the world over.
e a d i n g - e d g e T e c h n o l o g y
years since then, Hexcel’s leading-edge technology and advanced structural
materials have played a key role in the revolution in sports and recreation
equipment. And the company has branched out into many other segments of
the sports and recreation market.
materials offer unique advantages to consumers demanding higher performance
from their sports and recreation equipment. They add strength without
adding weight, and they are more durable than traditional materials under
the stresses and strains of the active outdoor lifestyle. Moreover, the
company’s global network of research, manufacturing, sales and service
capabilities enable it to serve customers the world over, quickly and
e l e c t e d N i c h e s
Hexcel participates in a number of selected niches within the sports and
- While the company
no longer markets its own brand of skis, it remains at the forefront
of ski technology, partnering with many major ski manufacturers, including
Atomic, Elan, Head, Salomon and others.
- Over half of the
snowboards in the world today contain Hexcel materials, in different
combinations of prepregs, laminates, polyurethane formulations and honeycomb.
- In the market
for golf clubs, Hexcel has played a key role in the move to carbon and
glass/carbon shafts, which are rapidly replacing steel shafts because
they are lighter, stiffer and stronger.
- Hexcel’s graphite
and fiberglass prepregs provide the stiffness and weight reduction needed
in tennis racquets today. The introduction of these composite materials
has dramatically expanded the range of racquets available to consumers.
fly-fishing rods are being made with Hexcel prepregs reinforced with
intermediate-modulus and high-modulus Hexcel carbon fiber.
- Hexcel’s fiber-reinforced
composite materials used in the hulls of racing yachts can reduce their
weight by as much as 25 percent, compared with conventional materials.
partnerships play a key role in expanding the use of advanced structural
materials in the sports and recreation market. Hexcel’s research and technology
and product marketing staff worked with bicycle manufacturer Trek to develop
a resin system that met Trek’s stringent requirements for a lighter, stiffer,
stronger frame for Trek Y frame mountain bicycles. The solution was a
Hexcel graphite unidirectional tape and graphite fabric. Today Trek mountain
bicycles are marketed with a tag identifying Hexcel materials as “The
broad range of sports and recreation applications represents an attractive
source of profitable business for Hexcel.
RACQUETS: Hexcel’s graphite and fiberglass prepregs provide the
stiffness and weight reduction desired in tennis racquets today.
The introduction of these composite materials has dramatically expanded
the range of racquets available.
SHAFTS: Carbon and glass/ carbon hybrids are rapidly replacing steel
golf shafts due to their lightweight, stiffness and strength. Hexcel
provides unidirectional carbon tape to the highest quality standards.
BOATS: The same advantages enjoyed by composite materials in fast
ferries and high-speed trains—strength, lightweight and impact resistance—also
make them ideal for canoes, kayaks, sculls and other recreational
RODS: Hexcel prepregs, reinforced with Hexcel carbon fibers have
helped create a high-end fly-fishing rod that is stiff and durable
while also being lightweight.