Covestro Presents the World’s First Wind Blade Made with Polyurethanes

Covestro Presents the Worlds First Wind Blade Made with Polyurethanes

Covestro joined the 2016 China International Composite Materials for Wind Power Industry Summit (CWPC) in Zhejiang, China from 14th - 15th April 2016. More than 500 wind energy experts from China and all over the world joined the summit to discuss the technical and industry trends, including blade manufacturers, turbine manufacturers, material suppliers, blade designers and industry associations.

Novel 2-K PU resin system

Dr. Chenxi Zhang, Senior Scientist of Polyurethanes Asia Pacific, Covestro, was invited to present the latest development of polyurethane infusion resin for wind blades. Dr. Zhang shared with the audience the latest successful trial of the 1.5MW polyurethane wind blade made with newly-developed 2-K PU resin system, which  intrigued great impression among the wind energy industry. The world’s first PU fabricated blade is 37.5 meter long and weighs around 6 tons. It was made with glass fabric from Chongqing Polycomp International(CPIC), a leading glass fabric producer, and processed with the polyurethane online infusion machine from HÜBERS, a specialist in process engineering, at Shanghai FRP Research Institute.   

During the speech, Dr. Zhang showed the detailed data comparison of the new PU resin system with epoxy, he said, “Compared with conventional epoxy resin, the newly-developed 2-K polyurethane resin system enjoys excellent mechanical properties, lower viscosity and better wetting with glass fabric. And it is more eco-friendly with less VOC. With faster curing process, the productivity can be increased significantly. We will collaborate along the value chain to develop solutions for longer and lighter wind blades.” Longer and lighter blades means higher energy generation efficiency and lower cost, which is the upcoming trend of global wind power industry. Polyurethane resin could help overcome the limit of existing materials, and bring in high performance and cost advantages for the industry.

Cooperating with leading blade manufacturers, fiberglass companies and machinery companies, Covestro is developing PU resin for wind blades along the value chain. One of which is Windnovation, a leading blade design company. Dr. Roland Stoer, managing director of Windnovation, said in the summit, “We would like to optimize the blade design by fully utilizing the advantages of polyurethanes. Polyurethane in wind blade has the prosperous future. We are impressed by the R&D capability and commitment of Covestro. I look forward to developing even more sophisticated wind blades with Covestro in the future.”

As Premier Keqiang Li raised the target proportion of clean energy in 2016 Government Work Report, the installation of wind energy in China is expected to reach beyond 250 GW in 2016. Considering the huge opportunities of wind energy industry, Covestro develops high performance material and processes through continuous innovation to contribute to the sustainable development of China.

About Covestro
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employs approximately 15,700 people (full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.

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