Covestro, a leading global supplier of high-performance polymer materials, has delivered its first commercial order of polyurethane raw materials for wind blades to China.
China is the world’s largest wind power market with 221GW of installed capacity at the end of 2018, according to the World Wind Energy Association. The blades, produced by Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology (TMT), one of the largest manufacturers of wind blades in China, have then been delivered to Envision, a leading global wind turbine technology company. They are scheduled to be installed in a wind farm in East China in July 2019.
Covestro delivered polyurethane resin to TMT for the production of 18 59.5-metre polyurethane wind blades; it will also be applied to spar caps and shear webs. These blades were delivered to Envision, heralding the successful deployment of Covestro’s innovative polyurethane resin in blades for commercial wind farm projects.
Polyurethane resin: a game-changing innovation
Ulrich Liman, global head of R&D, Business Unit Polyurethanes at Covestro said, “We are very excited to be working with Envision and TMT on this first sales order of PU wind blades in China. Polyurethane resin in the production of wind blades, is a game-changing innovation delivered by Covestro teams around the world.
"We remain committed to our vision of creating products that benefit society and improve people’s lives all over the world.”
Zilu Liang, deputy chief engineer, Wind Power Products at TMT, said: “As an innovative material, polyurethane, compared to epoxy resin, has advantages in costs and in the production process.”
Covestro’s novel polyurethane infusion resin was developed to help the wind power industry meet the growing demand for longer wind blade designs. Wind turbine rotor blades of this kind are typically made out of fiberglass-reinforced resin by applying vacuum infusion technology. The successful use of polyurethane resin for manufacturing large-scale rotor blades for wind turbines suggests that the material itself features superior mechanical properties and anti-fatigue performance.