As the wind energy market continues to grow and evolve new challenges must be addressed and overcome. Wind turbine blades are now larger than ever to boost energy creation capacity and the extra size must be supportive with strong, durable, and lightweight materials.
Sustainability is also a key focus and members of the wind energy industry supply chain are striving to create new methods and materials to meet lofty sustainability goals. Thermoplastics PET foams are cost-effective, offer consistent material properties, and allow for easier recycling of wind turbine blades.
SABIC’s new LNP™ COLORCOMP™ compound offers a decreased foam cell size when compared to standard nucleating agents. With uniform cell size distribution COLORCOMP reduces resin uptake by the foam and leads to a lighter weight wind blade.
“Even though PET foam is relatively new to the wind turbine core materials market, as a thermoplastic it offers many advantages and is a good candidate for broader use in turbine blades,” said Magdalena Sandström, CTO Diab Group. “We are focused on optimizing the performance of our PET foams to drive industry adoption of a more sustainable solution. SABIC’s new LNP COLORCOMP compound, a material that provides increased control over cell nucleation and growth, is helping us achieve this goal. By leveraging this unique technology, we are developing innovative products that enable the implementation of larger and more-powerful blades.”
Director of Formulation & Application Development for SABIC’s Specialties Business, Luc Govaerts, explained, “Our collaboration with Diab has opened exciting new opportunities to advance wind energy through higher-performing core materials that enable innovative composite designs. Our novel compound based on nano technology, together with our formulation and material science expertise, help Diab to innovate, and will give wind turbine manufacturers access to core composite products that are strong, light and recyclable. Working with our customers, SABIC continues to do all we can to promote sustainability efforts across the spectrum, including supporting broader use of renewable energy sources.”