Gurit (Isle of Wight, U.K.) at the JEC Composites Show last week emphasized the importance of its recent acquisition of wind blade moldmaker Suzhou Red Maple Wind (Suzhou, China). Damian Bannister, technical manager of Red Maple, tooling business of Gurit, noted that the company has low cost base, high-capacity system for manufacture of long-life molds for wind blade applications.
Bannister says the prepreg blade molds cost about 50 percent of comparable tools produced in Europe and have a 50 percent shorter lead time as well. The technology, he says, allows Gurit the opportunity to develop tooling for non-wind applications, and this is seen as the long-term plan. The company is developing a facility for the manufacture of molds for 70m/230-ft blades; all tools, says Gurit, offer dimensional accuracy of ±0.5 mm/0.02 inch and feature a carbon fiber epoxy mold surface with electrical and liquid heating options. The company offers a 12-week lead time from receipt of geometrical specifications.
Gurit also reports that it continues to integrate the High Modulus business into its operations. SP-High Modulus will focus primarily on marine composites applications and features the B³ SmartPac (build boats better), pre-cut and pre-labeled reinforcements and core materials customized for boatbuilding kits.
Also new is G-PET, a recyclable structural foam for wind energy applications; PH840, a developed prepreg system for rail interiors, a halogen-free, modified phenolic; and EP500, a tooling prepreg for aerospace applications.