FLORHAM PARK, NJ – BASF has launched an expanded offering of epoxy resin systems for fiber-reinforced composites developed specifically for the production of wind turbine rotor blades.
To achieve higher efficiencies, the rotor blades of modern wind turbines are becoming bigger and bigger. To fabricate rotors that may exceed 300 feet in length requires exceptionally high-performing materials. Consequently, polyester-based composites are being replaced by highly resilient fiber-reinforced materials that use epoxy resins.
“BASF is bringing important innovation to the rapidly evolving wind energy market,” said Jay Bhatia, Industry Manager for Epoxy & Polyurea in the BASF Intermediates business in North America. “For example, our latest epoxy system with latent hardener offers a longer pot life combined with shorter curing time, enabling blade producers to reduce cycle time significantly – an important advantage when the most pressing problem windmill blade producers face is not being able to produce blades fast enough to meet the growing demand.”
BASF’s new offering includes two infusion resin systems and one laminating resin system designed specifically for the production of wind turbine rotor blades. Consisting of a resin compound and a curing-agent compound that are carefully adapted to one another, the BASF systems enable production of fiber-reinforced component parts that possess low weight and exceptionally high mechanical strength.
The BASF epoxy resin systems for fiber-reinforced composites have been approved by Germanischer Lloyd AG, one of the world’s leading insurance companies that sets performance requirements for wind turbines. This is a major acceptance criterion for materials used in the wind energy industry.
Currently, BASF is developing a line of new curing agents that have promising characteristics that the company believes will support the needs of the next generation of epoxy resin systems, including shorter cycle times and further improved mechanical strength.