Covestro, a globally leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials, has developed an innovative technology for manufacturing wind turbine rotor blades. The rotor blades are fabricated in a special process from a polyurethane resin and a glass fiber fabric. The company has now received the important DNV GL certification for the resin.
DNV GL – an abbreviation of the companies Det Norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd, which merged in 2013 – is a leading international industry standard for the safety, reliability and performance of wind turbines. The Covestro system is the world's first polyurethane resin to receive this certification. For the company, it also is an important milestone in the advancement of renewable energies, particularly wind power.
It's the resin that counts
“This brings us a big step closer to our goal of increasing the efficiency of wind power generation,” says Kim Klausen, global head of Covestro's wind energy program. The resin was developed in a close cooperation between the Covestro Wind Competence Center in Denmark and the Polyurethane Research Center in Leverkusen. It has a major influence on stability and durability, the two critical properties of rotor blades. “After epoxy resins mainly were used in the industry in the past, the time has come to establish the high performance and cost advantages of polyurethane in wind power generation,” says Kim Klausen.
Covestro successfully tested the polyurethane resin on an industrial scale together with SAERTEX®, a leading manufacturer of glass fiber and carbon fiber fabrics, and HÜBERS, a specialist in process engineering. A prototype of a 45-meter-long spar cap recently was fabricated at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stade. See the video report at YouTube. The spar cap is a key component of the rotor structure that has to bear the full force of the wind.
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 15,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2015.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro AG’s public reports, which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.