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The two newly qualified carbon fiber UD prepregs use Hexcel’s HexPly M9.6G and M19G epoxy resin systems, both of which are MDA free and fully compliant with REACH regulations.
Hexcel announced on the 2nd of March 2011 that two more HexPly® carbon fiber UD prepregs have now been certified by Germanischer Lloyd for use in wind energy applications. The two newly qualified prepregs use Hexcel’s HexPly® M9.6G and M19G epoxy resin systems, both of which are MDA free and fully compliant with REACH regulations.
HexPly® M9G is Hexcel’s established standard cure product and HexPly® M19G is an innovative system that cures in 15-20% less time while having the same excellent handling and mechanical properties. Both prepregs are suitable for shells, spars and the root end. With the faster curing HexPly® M19G less energy is required to cure the prepreg and there are potential savings in mould costs as less expensive tooling resins and coatings can be used, along with a cheaper tooling support system. Overall cost savings are achievable per mould and the moulds are more durable with an increase in cycle life.
Both prepregs are constructed using Hexcel’s patented Grid Technology where the grid assists in removing air during vacuum bag process and ensures that the void content in the final unidirectional carbon laminate is very low thus providing superior mechanical performance translating carbon fibre modulus into laminate modulus.
The GL Statement of Approval for Hexcel’s prepreg means that wind blade manufacturers and design companies can select certified MDA-free carbon fiber/epoxy materials that have been approved for blade construction following rigorous testing and data analysis. Customers will have access to the data that can be used for design purposes for proven performance.
Hexcel is a major supplier of prepregs and composite materials to the wind energy industry from dedicated plants in Austria, China and Colorado, USA. Wind blade manufacturers are increasingly turning to carbon fibre composites for their superior mechanical properties, high strength and modulus at lower weight than alternative technologies which is a requirement for modern very long rotor blades in multi-Megawatt wind power plants. In UD prepregs the carbon fibres are all aligned in a single direction without the use of any stitching yarn impregnated with an exact quantity of resin to provide optimal strength and stiffness exactly where required in the structure.
Germanischer Lloyd is an internationally recognised and globally operating technical monitoring group at the forefront for materials testing, researching and certification for wind energy.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers, reinforcements for composites, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.