DATE : 2019 – 2023

BUDGET : € 13.5M

COORDINATOR : Hexcel Reinforcements

ROLE OF BENKEI : Support to project management

logofinanceurThis project is financed by the French “Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir”, under the “Projet de recherche et de développement Structurant Pour la Compétitivité” (PSPC) program.

Grant allocated by Bpifrance : € 6M


The HAICoPAS project (Highly Automatized Integrated Composites for Performing Adaptable Structures) is a 13.5 M€ collaborative project involving Hexcel, Arkema and their industrial partners (Ingecal, Coriolis Composites, Pinette Emidecau Industries (PEI) and Institut de Soudure), and an academic cluster of university laboratories led by CNRS, comprising PIMM (CNRS -Arts et Métiers ParisTech -le Cnam) and LTEN (CNRS -Université de Nantes). This R&D Competitiveness Structuring Project (PSPC) was accredited by Polymeris and received 6 M€ in funding from BPI France. The 56-month project ended in December 2023. The project partners benefited from Benkei’s support in monitoring and implementing the project.

This project is a continuation of a strategic partnership signed in March 2018 between Hexcel and Arkema, aimed at developing composite plies (“tapes”) made of carbon fiber and PEKK thermoplastic matrix intended for primary aeronautical structures.



The HAICoPAS project aims to:

  • optimize the design and manufacturing process for unidirectional composite webs based on high-performance thermoplastic resins and continuous carbon fibers,
  • develop a more productive web placement technology and a new system for assembling final parts by welding, with in-line quality control.
  • produce composite parts to replace metal materials (steel, aluminum, titanium) for light weighting (primarily for the aeronautics, mass-produced automobile and offshore oil industries) at a competitive cost and high production rate.

This “materials/processes” development will provide thermoplastic/carbon composite layers and market the associated processing and assembly resources for downstream users of these materials in the future.

The work carried out by the project partners has enabled them to overcome the technological hurdles identified at the start of the project, namely :

  • the development, implementation and characterization of carbon/thermoplastic layers (C/PEKK, C/PAHT),
  • the development of the automatic removal process for in-situ consolidation and/or removal+consolidation outside the autoclave,
  • the development of the assembly process using ISW welding technology and its control (continuous and/or a posteriori).

The definition of the elementary parts intended to constitute the assembled parts of the demonstrator (design and specifications) was carried out in close collaboration with an industrial advisory committee made up of Airbus, Safran, Daher, Hutchinson, ATC, Air Liquide, PSA & Renault group, representing the downstream users of this material and their needs. The final version of the aeronautical demonstrator made from composite sheet and assembled using ISW technology is shown below.



Benkei’s role

Benkei supported all the partners in the project management, and in particular in monitoring the “quality-cost-delay” triptych through technical reporting (quality and conformity of deliverables, achievement of milestones, progress reports for each key stage), financial reporting (summary statements of expenditure) and management of deadlines.

Benkei’s role was also to maintain good communication between the partners, not only by facilitating project meetings, but also with BPI France during the various project reviews, and with the members of the industrial advisory committee. Benkei also ensured that the partners complied with the financing contract, guiding them and answering their questions.