Highly Manufacturable Military Aviation-Grade Thermoplastic Nanocomposite Offered for Broad Recreational Uses at 50% the Weight and 90% the Strength of 6061-T6 Aluminum
DALLAS (May 2021) – Alpine Advanced Materials has introduced its HX5™ military aviation-grade thermoplastic nanocomposite to the outdoor products market, offering manufacturers a material option that is 50% lighter and 90% the strength of 6061-T6 aluminum. Developed over a decade of testing by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, HX5 is ideal for components like stocks, rails, mounts, and reels, among other high-performance parts across the range of recreational applications.
“As an advanced material, HX5 is ideal to replace metals where extreme endurance, weight, and performance matter,” said Roger Raley, president of Alpine Advanced Materials. “It also is a great option for components that would typically be considered too thin for traditional injection-molded thermoplastics, presenting promising applications for cycling, winter sports, motorsports, water sports, hunting, and other outdoor sports equipment.”
Engineered to replace machined aerospace-grade aluminum at half the weight, HX5 has both a high tensile and compressive strength, low thermal conductivity, and is non-abrasive. It is also extremely corrosion-resistant, with no cosmetic or performance degradation after exposure to UV, DEET, or various fuels and solvents. Tested against the harshest environments on earth, it has demonstrated resistance to temperatures as high as 500°F and as low as -65°F.
“This is a material that was purpose built with an R&D investment in excess of $50 million so it would withstand the most demanding applications, delivering comparable strength at half the weight,” added Raley. “We’ve seen how carbon fiber materials have already pushed the boundaries of sports performance, and are excited to write a new chapter as we help manufacturers find new ways to better design even better parts.”
Because HX5 can be injection molded, formed, extruded, or machined like aluminum, allowing for complex but strong shapes, components can be readily manufactured and mass-produced in weeks versus the months typically needed for machined metal parts. Alpine’s intuitive engineering and advanced manufacturing also help product designers identify opportunities for part consolidation.
About Alpine Advanced Materials
Alpine Advanced Materials is a leading expert in the design and manufacture of custom-engineered parts and products for the world’s most demanding aerospace, defense, energy, space, and outdoor applications. The company commercializes high-performance materials originally developed and qualified by top defense contractors, including its flagship HX5™ military aviation-grade thermoplastic nanocomposite.
Engineered to replace machined aluminum, HX5 has been both tested and proven against the harshest environments in the world. HX5 is currently in use on jet fighters, high-speed helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, amphibious transport vehicles, rockets, and satellites, and is highly adaptable without sacrificing strength or performance. Its customization and unrivaled manufacturability here in the U.S. combined with its high tolerance and dimensional stability make it an ideal alternative to the cost and production challenges associated with aluminum. For more information, visit www.alpineadvancedmaterials.com.