Leverkusen, Germany – Covestro has processed its first commercial order involving the application of specially developed polyurethane materials for wind-turbine blades, the German polymer company announced 4 July.
The materials for the production of rotor blades were supplied to Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology (TMT), one of the largest wind blade manufacturers in China.
TMT supplied 18 of the 60m-long blades to Envision, a global wind turbine technology company. The units are scheduled to be installed in a wind farm in eastern China this month.
China is the world’s largest wind power market with 221 GW of installed capacity at the end of 2018, according to the World Wind Energy Association.
The blades are made from a specially developed PU resin that offers advantages over conventionally-used epoxy resins as it flows more easily and ensures better wetting of the glass fibre reinforcement.
As well as the resins, Covestro also developed PU materials for use on edge strips to protect the blades from weather-related erosion during use.
The company has previously indicated that these are based on elastomeric urethanes, offering an almost 10-fold improvement in abrasion resistance over conventional blade-edge materials.
Covestro is also collaborating with leading players of the wind power industry in Europe, and said that it intends to commercialise its technology in the region shortly.
The company also operates a new wind power laboratory in Leverkusen, which expands its global lab capacities in Asia and Europe.