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Faster rotor blade bonding and high temperature adhesive technology

News International-French

8 Aug 2012

There has been a significant correlation between the development of modern adhesives and the implementation of more efficient wind turbines in recent years. In line with the demand for challenging applications in the field of wind power, Henkel will present innovative adhesive, sealant and lubricant technologies. The company's products support the energy turnaround in the wake of the accelerated expansion in the renewable energy sector.

One of the wind energy industry’s top priorities is to maximize utilization rates by speeding up manufacturing processes in order to reduce unit costs and achieve a rapid payback on investments. The use of new material technologies is making an important contribution to this.



Macroplast UK 1340
In rotor blade production, one obvious way of accelerating the process would be to use polyurethane-based adhesives for rotor blade bonding, although these represent a very recent development in the wind power industry. Traditionally, blade shells and spars have been bonded using two-component epoxy resins. While these materials reliably meet the extremely high mechanical specifications, they are rapidly reaching their limits when it comes to the automation of manufacturing processes. New technologies are therefore needed to speed up and automate production.



Henkel is now presenting a solution in the shape of its newly developed polyurethane adhesive Macroplast UK 1340. The specialist in high-performance polyurethane adhesives has succeeded in developing a PUR adhesive that satisfies the specific mechanical requirements for use in the wind power industry and, on top of this, makes rotor blade production more efficient.



One of the major benefits offered by Macroplast UK 1340 is its accelerated cure speed. Polyurethane-based adhesives react much faster than the epoxy resins used up to now. Since it is not only highly reactive but also produces less reaction heat, this two-component adhesive considerably reduces both the duration and the temperature of the cure phase. Extensive tests have shown that substantial reductions can be achieved in bonding and tempering times. The lower cure temperature also has a positive impact on energy consumption in addition to reducing the risk of stress cracking due to excessive thermal loading. And heat-sensitive foam inserts also remain unaffected.



Loctite Frekote mold sealer
Frekote mold sealers from Henkel are favored worldwide by manufacturers in a variety of molding processes. When applied to a mold, Frekote sealers form micro-thin, thermally stable surfaces that are chemically bonded to the mold surface sealing micro porosity. Henkel developed the new Loctite Frekote CS-122 that reduces the curing time to two hours resulting in a shorter waiting time before the user can apply the release agent. The new product also seals larger porosities better because it allows thicker coatings.



Application is easier as the product can either be sprayed or wiped on the surface. The Loctite Frekote CS-122 can be applied at room temperature between 13°C and 40°C Celsius making the energy consuming heating of the mold unnecessary. Cured, the sealing remains stable at temperatures of as much as 400°C Celsius.



New fields of application for proven instant adhesives
New applications for this improved product range can be found, for instance, in the wind power industry Now, with Loctite 401, 406 and 454, three products with an enhanced formulation have been launched onto the market, capable of withstanding service temperatures of up to 120°C - without any adverse effect whatsoever on overall performance.



These three improved instant adhesives can fixture almost any material in less than five seconds and are exceptionally reliable and safe to use. For example, they can be used in generators and storage batteries in the nacelle of wind turbines.



A professional approach to threadlocking
An essential precondition for ensuring the long service life of machines is that the components installed will withstand stresses such as vibrations, thermal expansion of materials and major temperature variations. For secure locking of threaded connections, the Loctite brand from Henkel offers high-performance liquid threadlockers that are easy to use and prevent threads from loosening.



When the products have been properly applied, they will spread evenly over the thread surfaces, thus filling the clearance between mating threads. A good choice for medium-strength and medium-viscosity threadlocking is Loctite 243. It ensures that the threaded connection is resistant to vibration, media and temperature, while still allowing disassembly. It acts both as a retainer and as a sealant and prevents corrosion in the thread. Two further products, the medium-strength threadlocker Loctite 2400 and its high-strength counterpart Loctite 2700, contain no harmful substances and so do not require hazard labeling. They thus make an important contribution to user health and safety.



Bactericide-free Multan cutting fluid
In demanding metalworking applications, nothing goes without coolant fluids. These “liquid tools” are essential when it comes to exploiting the full potential of modern high-performance machine tools. At the same time, users everywhere are increasingly clamoring for advanced coolant fluid concepts with enhanced manufacturing shop performance. Bacterial contamination with its well-known, unpleasant side-effects leading to emulsion splitting is one factor that has been singled out repeatedly as a major cost driver.



By developing a completely new generation of bactericide-free cutting fluids, Henkel has succeeded in banishing the drawback of emulsions splitting in use and the related bad odor nuisance, thus providing a long-awaited answer to a major problem associated with water-miscible metalworking fluids. The new emulsions of the Multan brand have proved themselves in industrial practice.



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