AGY (Aiken, S.C., USA) announced on March 17 the start of production of S-1 HM glass in conjunction with CTG/Taishan Fiberglass (Taian, China). The material was developed by AGY and will be produced by CTG/Taishan Fiberglass to fill the cost and performance gap between traditional E-Glass products and higher performance glasses such as AGY’s S-2 Glass products. CTG/Taishan Fiberglass has scheduled the completion of a new furnace for the end of the second quarter of 2014 with commercial availability of S-1 HM glass fiber rovings beginning the third quarter of 2014.
“We are looking forward to partnering with AGY,” says Zhiyao Tang, chairman and president of CTG/Taishan Fiberglass. “We have worked closely together on deciding the optimum timing and business conditions for bringing the S-1 HM product to market. We believe that time is now.”
S-1 HM glass was developed primarily for the wind energy market with input from blade and turbine manufactures. “The excellent balance of performance and cost of S-1 HM glass will enable manufacturers to optimize the design of wind blades, generating a lower weight solution, or additional length to a blade with no additional weight,” says Drew Walker, CEO of AGY. “The ability to add length to a wind turbine blade allows the turbine to operate at 100 percent efficiency over a wider range of wind speeds, which in turn can reduce the cost of electricity generated.” AGY’s S-1 HM glass has been tested in an array of epoxy and vinyl ester systems in today’s wind turbine blades.
While AGY and CGT/Taishan Fiberglass are targeting the wind energy market with S-1 HM, they believe the material has potential for many other industrial applications. “Since S-1 HM glass is mechanically superior to E-Glass, but much less expensive than the extremely high-end glasses, we feel that S-1 HM will be an excellent fit for composite manufacturers in a wide variety of markets,” says Walker.