The polyester resin is called Synolite™ 1790-G-3 and is particularly suited for the vacuum infusion process.
DSM Composite Resins says the product offers a number of performance improvements over other traditional unsaturated polyester resins and epoxy resins. It is also said to exhibit better wet-out of glass fibre, allowing more effective moulding with a broader variety of glass fibres, including reinforcement types commonly available in China.
With Synolite 1790-G-3 the entire curing procedure of the blades can be performed at room temperature. This enables manufacturers to achieve faster production cycles and reduce total system cost by up to 40% compared to epoxy resin-based systems, reports DSM.
The resin also demonstrates very low exothermic heat development in thick laminates yielding lower mechanical stress in the blade and longer mould life - a key factor in the manufacture of larger blades that require longer gelling times and more complex curing. Synolite 1790-G-3 features fast through-cure in thin laminate parts and delivers consistent performance from batch to batch.
Blades for wind turbines of 500 kW to 5-6 MW size, extending over 60 m in length, can be made with Synolite 1790-G-3.
Synolite 1790-G-3 was designed to meet the evolving material demands of wind turbine blade developers in China and the rest of the world, says Achim Johannes, Business Manager Advanced Composites.
"Blades made from Synolite 1790- G-3 are highly durable, strong and more energy efficient to produce thanks to its simplified curing process,” he says.
The new resin is now commercially available and will be produced in China and in Europe.
At China Wind Power 2010 on 13-15 October, DSM also outlined its approach for the global wind turbine blade manufacturing industry. At the heart of this is a move to educate the wind energy industry on the benefits and long-term potential of switching away from epoxy resins towards polyester resins for blade manufacturing.
DSM says the advantages of polyester resins in blade manufacturing are primarily faster cycle times and improved energy efficiency in the production chain. In addition, the trend towards longer blade, structural strength, lower weight, performance and durability is demanding better performing materials. Unsaturated polyester resins meet these requirements and are proven in blade sizes of over 45 m length.
DSM offers a complete package of services to blade manufacturers, from consultancy to technical support spanning the entire production process for wind turbine blades. The service will include advice on reinforcement type, adhesives, gel-coats and coating systems.
DSM’s approach will involve working with key partners such as Netherlands-headquartered blade and mould designer Global Blade Technology (GBT) on the design of polyester resin-based blades and moulds.
“This cooperation is an important element in our strategy to grow the application of our products in the wind turbine blade market," says Michael Effing, President of DSM Composite Resins. "We are confident we will be able to leverage the experience and expertise of GBT to offer a unique package to the industry.”
“China will continue to be a strategically crucial market for DSM Composite Resins and we are fully committed to growing our customer support capability here,” Effing added.
“The global wind power market grew by 31% in 2009, but in China installed capacity grew by 100%. We believe we can grow our share and bring greater value to blade manufacturers through our new solution package supported with our dedicated resources in marketing, sales, manufacturing and R&D in our Shanghai and Nanjing technical centres.”
DSM Composite Resins, headquartered in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, is part of DSM Resins, a group within the Performance Materials cluster of DSM.