Civil Engineering

Civil engineering spans many different types of applications from bridges, roadways, airports, tunnels, subsea structural protection, water supply, sewage systems, aquafarming to buildings. While being one of the oldest engineering disciplines, it continues to evolve and progress as new materials and technologies are brought to market. Composite materials have started playing a bigger role in civil engineering designs over the past 30 years as designers come to understand how to apply them to their designs.

Superior Structural Reinforcement and Repair

Structural repair and strengthening with fiber-reinforced composite materials brings economic advantages in the long term thanks to the long service life and low maintenance. Practically, this is achievable only by using materials made with a robust and controlled manufacturing process, guaranteeing high quality and standards.

Stringent safety regulations result in costly and long qualification programs. Hexcel supports and assists customers by identifying the most appropriate tailored solutions for the specific applications and sampling materials for qualification purposes.

The HiMax® range of carbon and glass non-crimp fabrics provides superior structural reinforcement for the construction and repair of buildings, bridges, roads, pipes and numerous other civil engineering applications.

Hexcel’s HiMax® non-crimp fabrics are layers of unidirectional fibers placed in predetermined orientations and stitch bonded. These multiaxial reinforcements provide strength and stiffness in multiple directions depending on the controlled orientation of the fibers.

Leak Management and Pipe Repair

Multiaxial fabrics provide high levels of drapeablity thanks to the textile construction. Carbon is the preferred fiber for pipe repairs, due to the high stiffness and high modulus. Carbon is often selected as it enables a thinner patch to be used, accommodating any space limitations.

This method of managing and repairing leaks is suitable for all pipe sizes, fittings, valves, vessels and platforms, and is compatible with steel and PVC.

It is a superior alternative to traditional clamping, providing high strength and stiffness and a number of other benefits including fast processing without welding. Composites do not corrode so a long service life is assured.

Fire Protection for Building Structures

HiMax® geogrids, known as mesh, are “net-like” non-crimp fabrics, made from carbon fibers, basalt fibers, or blend of the two. They are used in combination with hydrocarbon intumescent coatings to protect building structures in case of fire. HiMax® provides great flexibility at design level, thanks to the broad range of pattern sizes and areal weight achievable

The reinforced coating is a passive fire protection measure. The coating expands through the grid when burning to form char that increases in volume to distance the flames and the generated heat from the protected structural members.

Carbon fiber is favored for its higher degradation temperature. In particularly complex and aggressive fire scenarios, the presence of the carbon grid enhances positional stability of the expanded char, preventing flaking and supporting the underlying structure that it protects.