FLORHAM PARK, NJ, June 2, 2008 – BASF has launched an expanded offering of epoxy resin systems for fiber-reinforced composites developed specifically for the production of wind turbine rotor blades.
To achieve higher efficiencies, the rotor blades of modern wind turbines are becoming bigger and bigger. To fabricate rotors that may exceed 300 feet in length requires exceptionally high-performing materials. Consequently polyester-based composites are being replaced by highly resilient fiber-reinforced materials that use epoxy resins.
"BASF is bringing important innovation to the rapidly evolving wind energy market," said Jay Bhatia, Industry Manager for Epoxy & Polyurea in the BASF Intermediates business in North America. "For example, our latest epoxy system with latent hardner offers a longer pot-life combined with shorter curing time, enabling blade producers to reduce cycle time significantly – an important advantage when the most pressing problem windmill blade producers face is not being able to produce blades fast enough to meet the growing demand."
BASF’s new offer includes two infusion resin systems and one laminating resin system designed specifically for the production of wind turbine rotor blades. Consisting of a resin compound and a curing-agent compound that are carefully adapted to one another, the BASF systems enable production of fiber-reinforced component parts that possess low weight and exceptionally high mechanical strength.
The BASF epoxy resin systems for fiber-reinforced composites have been approved by Germanischer Lloyd AG (GL), one of the world’s leading insurance companies that sets performance requirements for wind turbines. This is a major acceptance criterion for materials used in the wind energy industry.
Currently, BASF is developing a line of new curing agents that have promising characteristics that the company believes will support the needs of the next generation of epoxy resin systems, including shorter cycle times and further improved mechanical strength.
"Over the past year, we have set up resources to meet growing demand for epoxy systems locally," said Bhatia. "We are supplying curing agent blends from local production and blending facilities and have entered into long term supply arrangements with leading epoxy resin manufacturers to be able to offer epoxy systems to our customers."
BASF offers an unrivaled portfolio of amine-based curing agents and accelerators that are used specifically to cure epoxy resins. Baxxodur amine curing agents are crucial in achieving needed properties of the finished product made from the epoxy resins. In addition to tensile and impact strength, the curing agent can affect chemical and thermal resistance of the final composite and can play a vital role in improving production efficiency.
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BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $16.4 billion in 2007. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, or to sign up to receive news releases by e-mail, visit www.basf.com/usa.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.