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New Bayer MaterialScience competence center steers global developments for wind power stations

News International-French

4 Mar 2013

Focus on efficient manufacture of rotor blades with polyurethane infusion resin

Polyurethane infusion resins from Bayer MaterialScience are suitable for the industrial manufacture of complete rotor blades for wind turbines. This is the result of a recent project performed by the new wind power competence center in the Danish city of Otterup. This steers and coordinates the company's global activities in this field. In the manufacture of the blades the resins are combined with fibers in a mold and form a very strong material composite. The finished rotor blades are sturdier, longer-lasting and more lightweight than those produced with the epoxy resins and unsaturated polyesters used previously.

However, the most important advantage is the greater process and cost efficiency. As polyurethane resins are more free-flowing than conventional materials, they spread better in the mold and can be processed more quickly. They also harden faster and under simplified conditions. Bayer MaterialScience is confident that automated manufacture of rotor blades with robots will also be possible.

Around a quarter of the total costs of a wind turbine are for the rotor blades alone. Reducing these costs is therefore a key driver in wind power development. “The use of polyurethane resins could reduce the cycle time per blade from 16 to 24 hours currently to seven to eight hours, thus significantly increasing productivity. We are working to cut the cycle time still further,” says Kim Harnow Klausen, head of the Bayer MaterialScience global wind power competence center.

With its new competence and development center for wind power, Bayer MaterialScience is strengthening its development portfolio for energy generation from renewable sources. The center's project teams have now built up a global network to develop effective and sustainable materials and technologies for wind power applications. After the successful production of a prototype blade in Asia, the company currently focuses on achieving the blade sizes common today.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2012 sales of EUR 11.5 billion, Bayer MaterialScience 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. At the end of 2012, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,500 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.