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Home | News |Covestro and Saertex develop materials for new rotor blade production process
Covestro and Saertex develop materials for new rotor blade production process
Updated: 2015-12-14 09:41 Source: Market Report Company share:

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience), Saertex and Hubers have developed a new technology for the manufacture of rotor blades for wind power plants. The half-shells for the rotor blades are manufactured using a vacuum infusion process, reported GV.

Actively contributing to climate protection is a central element of the sustainability concept at Covestro. One of the key focal points in this commitment is the generation of power from renewable sources, and first and foremost from wind power, says the company. Numerous countries are now pursuing this sustainable form of power generation, although some state subsidies are being cut. As a result, the demand for cost-effective processes for manufacturing even bigger and more efficient wind turbines is greater than ever.

Together with Saertex, a manufacturer of woven fibreglass, and Hubers Verfahrenstechnik Maschinenbau GmbH as partner for the process technology, Covestro has developed a technology for manufacturing rotor blades in line with these requirements. The new process features a whole new approach to combining polyurethane resin with woven fibreglass. The partners have now successfully produced the prototype for a 45 meter-long spar cap at the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stade. The spar is the core of the structural framework and has to accommodate the full wind load.

Kim Klausen, Head of Covestro’s global Center of Excellence for Wind Power in Otterup, Denmark, said, "Stability and durability are the key properties for rotor blades." He further explained: "Our polyurethane resin offers clear advantages over epoxy resins in this application: We achieve a higher glass transition temperature and low shrinkage. The reaction of the polyurethane resin also generates less heat."

Marc Schrief, managing director at Saertex, added: "Our woven fibreglass ensures the stability of the compound. They are thoroughly impregnated with the polyurethane resin and form a high-strength component. What’s more, they help to lower the weight of the rotor blades." According to the company, the 45 meter-long rotor blade would weigh 8 t overall. The spar cap made from polyurethane and glass fibres accounts for approximately a third of the total weight.


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