To improve manufacturing efficiencies of high-performance wind-turbine rotors, BASF Industrial Coatings Solutions, Southfield, Mich., says it has developed materials based on epoxy resins and curing agents sold under the Baxxodur brand.
The high-temperature resistant Ultrason thermoplastic, E 2020 P SR, in flake and powder form has a higher share of hydroxyl end groups to make this polyethersulfone compatible with high-performance epoxy resins. BASF says the material has proven itself in applications as an impact modifier. Composites based on high-temperature-resistant epoxy resins stay brittle unless modified with heat-resistant impact modifiers, such as the Ultrason E 2020. The recent powder form allows using it more easily in the resin. No longer does it have to be used with solvents which must be removed later.
Epoxy resins have become the material of choice for fabricating large rotor blades. BASF says its Baxxodur two-component materials increase production of large blades thanks to a new curing agent. To assure that blade molds fill completely and fast, the epoxy reacts slowly at first. Heat applied later speeds the curing and releases the part for production of the next blade in a shorter period than previously possible. Hence, cycle times for blade manufacturing can be cut by up to 30%. Production becomes more flexible because the new resins work over a broader temperature range than conventional products. The BASF systems have been approved by Germanischer Lloyd AG (GL), a certification agency, for use in wind turbines. Recently, GL has been accepting performance tests conducted by BASF’s own laboratories on epoxy systems and composites made with these systems.
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