Dow Formulated Systems (Midland, Mich., USA), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., on May 24 announced the completion of a new wind blade epoxy adhesives production plant in Roberta, Ga., USA. The plant, which includes a new reactor and production equipment, is fully dedicated to the wind sector and will be used to support the U.S. market, as well as exports to China and Latin America. The plant is located at Dow's existing Roberta facilities, and should be fully operational by July 1.
Jean-Luc Guillaume, global business leader for wind energy for Dow Formulated Systems, says the new plant is part of a global Dow network of production assets that supports customers with local sources for wind blade technology, providing additional supply security and simplified logistics. "We are one of the few blade adhesive suppliers with production in North America," Guillaume said, adding that, "this investment demonstrates our strong commitment to the wind energy industry in North America and throughout the world."
According to Guillaume, "Epoxy adhesives play a critical role in the fabrication, performance and durability of wind turbine blades where large substructures are bonded together to create the finished blades. Specialized properties are needed for adhesive mixing and application during the fabrication process and cured adhesives must exhibit high levels of toughness and durability to withstand the extreme loads a wind turbine blade is subjected to throughout its service life. Dow Formulated Systems continues to develop new adhesive systems to support advances in wind blade design, including the trend toward larger blades produced using technology that delivers weight-savings without loss of strength. The addition of our new U.S. plant helps ensure that, as new adhesives are commercialized, the volume requirements of wind blade customers are met."
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The new plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 70,000 metric tons, is expected to become operational in the second half of 2018.