Adhesives have been used for many years, and one area in which they are now offering a competitive advantage is in the wind energy industry. Governments and energy utilities across the world are embracing wind power as it is environmentally friendly and can compete with conventional energy sources, and renewable energy is one of the fastest growing markets.
To help meet requirements, Huntsman offers a range of composite structures for wind blades with lengths from the standard 30m of today to new wind blade technology with increased lengths up to 60m, which put greater demands on the adhesive.
In such applications, epoxy and polyurethane adhesives are used to bond the inner reinforcement (spar or shear webs) as well as for the two shells. The adhesive needs to offer high flexural strength, high toughness to avoid cracks, be suitable for service temperatures from -40 to +80°C and offer gap filling to 50mm.
Huntsman has applied its expertise in other markets to the energy sector, developing adhesives for securing wind turbine blades, which includes new generation nano-technology materials based on sub-micron particles that can form bonds with dramatically improved strength when compared to traditional solutions. Processing of the products is also facilitated, thanks to the company’s patented ‘Chemical Thixotrophy’ that allows the manipulation of very liquid components before mixing. A new development, with a nano-toughened formulation will be launched soon, which will provide outstanding impact and fatigue resistance in combination with an improved pumping process and a chemical thixotrophy.