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5/4/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Saertex develops glass-fiber reinforcement material for wind-turbine rotor blades

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The new high-strength glass unidirectional fabric achieves tensile strengths that are reportedly up to 20% higher than conventional glass UD fabrics


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Saertex (Saerbeck, Germany) recently developed a  glass-fiber reinforcement material that will be used for the production of wind-turbine rotor blades. The unidirectional high-strength fabric achieves tensile strengths that are reportedly up to 20% higher. In addition, the process of laying-up the fabric in the component without wrinkles is significantly improved, thereby shortening the lay-up time.

Wind turbine rotor blades are exposed to strong mechanical forces. The lighter the materials, the more efficiently and economically the turbine operates. Lightweight components therefore dominate the market for the production of modern wind turbines. By laying fibers in a specific direction, composite components made of multiaxial interlaid complexes make it possible to transfer the generated stresses through the component in the direction of the applied load in an ideal manner. The spar cap of a rotor blade is one of the composite elements that is exposed to the highest stresses.

Saertex has managed to achieve higher mechanical values and simpler material handling through the advanced development of unidirectional fabrics used in the spar cap. According to Saertex, the fibers now remain stretched and this provides the composite component with a tensile strength that is up to 20% higher than with conventional glass UD fabrics. During resin infusion, resin accumulations between the fiber strands are also reduced, which improves the laminate quality. Laying-up the fabric in the mold without wrinkles not only simplifies handling for the customer, it also shortens the lay-up time during rotor-blade production by up to 15%.  

“We have managed to meet the ever-increasing requirements for rotor blades in wind-power generation. The turbines are becoming ever larger and this places enormous demands on the stability and (flexural) rigidity of the reinforcement materials used in the rotor blades. The new glass UD fabrics are our response to market requirements and they guarantee our customers a higher quality of their composite components,” says Steffen Baitinger, Wind Power Application Technology at Saertex.