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Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Protective & Marine coatings

Polyurethane paint protects edges of rotor blades

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wind turbines need to have a service life of 20 years in order to be economically efficient and the rotor blades are exposed to enormous stresses.

In order to protect rotor blade edges, new PUR paint has been developed

Source: B. Wylezich - Fotolia.com

In order to protect rotor blade edges, new PUR paint has been developed

Source: B. Wylezich - Fotolia.com

At the blade tips, speeds can reach up to 300 kilometers per hour. Add to that the impacts of rain, hail, snow, sand and UV radiation. The rotor blade edges are most vulnerable to impacts. This is because the rotor blades – generally 40 to 60 meters long and in many cases even up to 90 meters long – consist of parts that have been joined together. The glued seam runs along the blade edge. To protect the edges from erosion, sand and water, BASF has developed "Relest Wind LEP”.

Rain erosion resistance tests demonstrate protective function

The company uses a rain erosion test apparatus at its site in Oldenburg, Germany. The test specimens rotate on special mounts in the testing stand and can reach speeds of 500 kilometers per hour. At this speed, water drops are introduced into the test stand (around 30 liters per hour) so that they hit the test specimens. This experimental design creates conditions that are very similar to those real rotor blades are subjected to.

Coating can be applied under different climate conditions

Creating good protective properties and allowing easy application were both priorities during development. Rotor blade coating is performed in a variety of ways depending on the manufacturer, for instance, by hand with brushes, rollers or spraypainting. The paint can be used with all of these methods. Other advantages include the fact that the product can be applied under a wide range of climate conditions and that despite the elasticity of the coating, it can be sanded, for example, for touch-up jobs. All parts of the system, which includes gelcoat, putty, edge protection and topcoat, consist of solvent-free, two-component polyurethane compounds and comply with current VOC regulations.

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