WebCore wins private, government investment

The U.S. Department of Energy awards WebCore Technologies $1.8 million for development and commercialization of wind blade core material; private investors give the company $2 million.

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WebCore Technologies LLC (Miamisburg, Ohio, USA) announced on Nov. 17 that it has been awarded $1.8 million as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Small Business Phase III Xlerator program. The company also has closed a $2 million investment with a private investment group.

WebCore was selected by DOE for next-phase development and commercialization of TYCOR W, an engineered composite core material gaining acceptance in utility wind turbine blades. Phase III Xlerator awards, a first for DOE, were created to help small businesses develop manufacturing processes to scale up production of their new, proven technologies, creating new markets and new jobs. WebCore will use the funding to expand production capacity of TYCOR W at its Miamisburg manufacturing facility and support ongoing development of enhancements to its TYCOR technology platform.

Of the private money, CEO Doug Ventura said, “The investment allows us to more quickly seize significant opportunities that will position WebCore to become a leading supplier to the wind energy market in the United States, Europe and Asia.” Ventura added that the funding comes at a time of rapid evolution for the company, which announced a strategic alliance with 3B-the Fiberglass Company for exclusive distribution of its TYCOR W core material for utility scale wind blades in Europe and Asia.

TYCOR W combines fiber reinforcements, such as E-glass roving or mat, with closed-cell, low-density foam in an engineered architecture. The core material has been in use for over two years in utility-class wind turbine blades and is undergoing qualification for use with additional 1.5 to 3.0 MW turbines that have blade lengths in the 40 to 60m (131 to 197-ft) range.