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Helicoid Industries Inc. awarded CalTestBed voucher for R&D efforts in leading edge protection technology

Helicoid Industries Inc., which is commercializing the Helicoid™ biomimetic fiber-reinforced composite technology, announces that they have been awarded a voucher in the amount of $294,000.00 USD for the testing and commercialization of their Leading-Edge Protection Technology as part of the 2020 California Test Bed Initiative (CalTestBed) recommendation process administered by New Energy Nexus.

Helicoid Industries Inc. awarded CalTestBed voucher for R&D efforts in leading edge protection technology
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“The Helicoid™ technology offers excellent impact resistance under various loading conditions, including low velocity/large mass impacts, high velocity/small mass impacts, up to ballistic impacts. A recent preliminary investigation on the performances of Helicoid ™ to endure high frequency small mass impacts, such as the ones generated by water droplets or sand/dust on the leading edge of composite wind blades has revealed the capability of Helicoid ™ substrates to greatly increase the resistance to rain erosion. The investigation on such complex impact fatigue phenomenon will be the focus of the CalTestBed voucher testing, to deliver a solution for lighter, higher efficiency, lower maintenance, and more durable wind blades.

“Helicoid Industries is developing an all-in-one solution for the protection of the wind blade against a variety of threats, including bird strike, lightning strikes and rain/sand erosion,” said Dr. Lorenzo Mencattelli, Director of Research & Development at Helicoid Industries Inc. “We are very pleased to be included as a voucher recipient in the CalTestBed program. The voucher will accelerate Helicoid Industries development for a solution in the wind industry, generate data and results for our leading-edge protection solution and ultimately demonstrate the benefits of biomimetic composite innovation and technology in renewable energy products.”

Helicoid™ is a bioinspired fiber-reinforced composite technology which draws its features from a wide variety of microstructures found in nature which have evolved to protect against severe impacts and harsh environments.

CalTestBed is a laboratory testing and commercialization development program for innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring clean energy concepts to market. It is made possible by an $11 million grant from the California Energy Commission. CalTestBed accelerates entrepreneurs by awarding vouchers to California based companies to test and de-risk technologies at one of nearly 60 testbeds across the UC system and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. CalTestBed recognizes entrepreneurs’ struggles in making the leap to commercialization and has formed a partnership with the UC Office of the President and University of California system to assist clean energy entrepreneurs in testing their technology at world-class testing facilities.

Tenley Dalstrom, New Energy Nexus’ CalTestBed Program Director, said, “California is recognized as a leader in progressive clean energy and climate policies, as well as in technology innovation. As more wind turbines are installed to deliver on the commitment to increase clean energy generation, we are excited to work with Helicoid Industries on testing this innovative material that we hope will be refined and deployed to protect those investments.”

Helicoid Industries has partnered with the University of California, Irvine – Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation to test various configurations of laminates using Helicoid technology for protection of the wind blade including leading edge, structure and other parts. Several proofs of concept and demonstrators using the Helicoid™ technology will be manufactured and tested during the execution of the work plan. Furthermore, Helicoid Industries closely collaborates with Saertex for the production of Helicoid™ multiaxial NCF to be used for the CalTestBed project.

“With Helicoid, we have a strong partner with whom we share a common goal: offering innovative solutions tailored to customer applications”, said Jan Hindahl, Team Leader Technical Service and Innovation at Saertex.“By using the multiaxial technology we expect to promote the Helicoid Technology in an efficient way. Therefore, we are very pleased about the fruitful cooperation,“

Saertex is a leaders in production of glass NCF fabrics for wind blade manufacturers. Such partnerships are key to deliver an innovative Helicoid™ LEP solution that meets the challenging wind blade industry costs and quality standards.

Helicoid™ is a bioinspired fiber-reinforced composite technology which draws its features from a wide variety of microstructures found in nature which have evolved to protect against severe impacts and harsh environments. Amongst these, the “smasher” Mantis shrimp, one of nature’s feistiest predators, evolved an internal architecture to protect the hammer-like club it uses to pulverize prey with incredible speed and force. The unique architecture, called a Helicoid™, protects the Mantis shrimp from self-inflicted damage as it delivers thousands of repeated impacts to hard-shelled prey. Such fiber architecture holds the ability of diffusing damage at a sub-critical level preventing the structure from catastrophic failure. Therefore, the club can dissipate energy while preserving its structural integrity. Helicoid Industries brings this bio-inspired concept to the fiber-reinforced composites industry, targeting a wide range of products and applications where impact resistance often limits structural efficiency and light-weighting potential.

More information www.helicoidind.com