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19th July 2017, Saerbeck

New record for carbon spar cap

Saertex, headquartered in Saerbeck, Germany, has been involved in the prototype production of what is probably the longest and thickest carbon fibre wind turbine blade spar cap made with vacuum infusion technology to date.

In June 2017, a major Chinese wind turbine blade manufacturer successfully completed the production of an 83.6 meter blade prototype and its spar cap takes up most of the mechanical load. It is made of carbon fibre to reduce the part’s weight and achieve the higher stiffness which is essential for rotor blades of such extreme length.

An infusion-optimized carbon fibre UD 618gsm with increased z-permeability material was used from Saertex. © Saertex

The blade was designed by Berlin-based WINDnovation and its spar cap was pre-produced in May, representing a technical challenge due to its length of 80.5 meters and thickness, at its broadest section, of 70mm.

An infusion-optimized carbon fibre UD 618gsm (unidirectional non-crimp fabric) with increased z-permeability material was used from Saertex, which was specially developed for the infusion of thick lay-ups. The latent resin system 3325 A/B with optimised viscosity and extended pot-life was supplied by CTP Chemicals, of Rüsselsheim am Main, Germany.

The spar cap was infused in VAP technology with a VAP membrane supplied by Composyst, of Hurlach, Germany. This enables degassing of the resin during the entire infusion and eases resin distribution throughout the entire part as well as control of the resin content in the part. This makes the entire process safer.

The infusion process itself took less than three hours and was completed without any problems, with the part free of defects.

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