Faster manufacturing combined with longer service life
Polyurethane composite materials in plant construction
Although the global installed capacity for wind power is more than 20 times higher than in 20012, the full potential of this unique resource is far from being fully exploited. To progress towards this goal, tomorrow’s wind will have to be not just ecological but economical as well. At Covestro we have developed a special polyurethane (PU) resin that can be combined with glass fiber fabrics to create new composite materials. PU’s superior mechanical properties offer production benefits without compromising on production reliability and product quality, thus providing a valuable stimulus to the wind energy value chain.
Compared to standard epoxy resins for blade production, PU infusion resin can help optimize blade design and reduce weight, which brings wind blade manufacturers significant benefits. This innovative raw material, which has been applied in wind turbine blade production for the first time, makes lighter, longer and stronger blades possible. PU infused wind turbine blades also display excellent mechanical performance and better fatigue resistance properties than conventional solutions such as epoxy.
The faster infusion and curing speeds of our PU infusion resins make shorter production cycles possible. PU resin’s lower viscosity and better fluidity help to speed up infusion, while the fast curing time means no post-curing is needed. And that enhances the efficiency of wind turbine blade production.
Proof that polyurethane can play an increasingly important role in the future of wind energy came from a successful collaborative project with our partners SAERTEX and HÜBERS. Using our PU infusion resin, they fabricated a 45-meter long spar cap at the prestigious German Aerospace Center (DLR). Learn more about the pioneering DLR project in this video (link).
2 Global Wind Energy Council: Global Cumulative Installed Capacity 2001-2016: http://gwec.net/global-figures/graphs (URL retrieved 2017/09/27)