Urban Air Mobility (UAM) / Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

Urban Air Mobility (UAM), or Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), is an emerging market that promises to be the next big transportation innovation. Similar to taxis or ride-sharing today, UAM/AAM will deliver transportation in the air, removing congestion from streets and providing a convenient and rapid method to travel within urban centers and deliver people and cargo to under served areas. Hexcel’s composite materials are the ideal solution to provide efficient, reliable, and cost-competitive transportation vehicles.

Hexcel offers an extensive line of carbon fiber solutions, including a range of HexTow® high modulus and high strength carbon fibers, which offer exceptional stiffness-to-weight performance critical for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) structural applications. These fibers are part of an extensive line of materials including epoxy matrix materials for standard autoclave cure, out-of-autoclave cure, quick cure, and infusion that are offered in woven fabric, unidirectional sheet, and tape form. Thermoplastic matrix systems are available that offer many processing, manufacturing, and repair advantages. 

The UAM/AAM market will require solutions with the reliability of aerospace vehicles but with the high-rate producibility of the automotive market. Hexcel’s advanced composite solutions answer both criteria. Hexcel has long been well known and qualified on an extensive list of aerospace programs. Manufacturing of Hexcel composites can be automated, reducing production costs per part and increasing production volumes. HexFlow® and HiFlow™ infusion resins in combination with our HiTape® and HiMax® reinforcements can be used where large, integrated structures need to be created with dry fiber preforms and then infused and cured in a single operation. Our HexAM® additive manufacturing technology is another great automated technology to create complex structures that are lightweight and cost-efficient.

Our advanced materials make UAM/AAM structures not only stronger and lighter but also more comfortable for the consumer. Our HexWeb® honeycomb core and Acousti-Cap® solutions help to dampen noise and vibrations from engines for a smooth and quiet ride.

Hexcel’s advanced materials can contribute to the electromagnetic properties of UAM/AAM systems that require efficient and reliable communication with ground stations or other UAM/AAM vehicles through wireless or satellite communications. Hexcel materials can be tuned to absorb certain electromagnetic frequencies and pass other frequencies. They are used for radomes that protect the transmit and receive antennas, and the radome materials and structure can be engineered to allow for efficient communication while blocking out signals that are coming from other sources.

Additional article on composite materials for UAM/AAM