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22nd March 2019, Helsinki

Record in laminating layers of carbon fibre fabric

Bigger wind turbines can generate more energy.

Bigger wind turbines can generate more energy.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö glass and carbon fibre composite team has developed a carbon fibre based unidirectional fabric in response to the demand from the company’s customers, who are trying to tackle the challenge of the ever-increasing size of wind turbine blades. While blades become longer, also the thickness of laminates gets higher.

In a unidirectional (UD) fabric the majority of fibres run in one direction only. The new fabric can be laminated to 165 layers or even more in one shot. The previous record of infusing carbon fibre unidirectional fabric was 120 layers, the company reports.

“We are really excited about the new HighFlow Carbon unidirectional fabric. Our team in Mikkeli plant, Finland, did excellent work with this,” said Pekka Helynranta, Vice President, Building & Wind. “HighFlow Carbon Wind Energy is specially designed for wind turbine blades to enable larger new generation wind turbines.”

Bigger wind turbines can generate more energy. Increase in size means also increase in blade size. To optimise power generation blades should be lightweight and stiff. Until now, there wasn’t a good solution to this. HighFlow Carbon is designed to solve this problem. By increasing the number of unidirectional fabric layers up to 165, the company says it is able to help the customer to reach a new level of thickness on spar cap laminates. The fabric was unidirectional carbon fibre 600g/m2.

HighFlow Carbon Wind Energy is specially designed for wind turbine blades to enable larger new generation wind turbines. © Ahlstrom-Munksjö

HighFlow Carbon Wind Energy is specially designed for wind turbine blades to enable larger new generation wind turbines. © Ahlstrom-Munksjö

By using Ahlstrom-Munksjö HighFlow fabrics, the infusion process itself is said to be more reliable as there is a lower risk for unsaturated areas of carbon unidirectional fabric. In this new range of products, the permeability of fabrics is engineerable, the flow rate and direction can be controlled. “This means that our customers can now forget problems related to infusion of carbon fibre fabrics,” the company explains.

“We have reached a high level of interest from our customers. Our customers are turbine blade manufacturers which use the blades on their own turbines or sell the blades to the big global wind turbine manufacturers. Also, design offices, which make blade designs for blade manufacturers have shown interest in our new concept.”

www.ahlstrom-munksjo.com

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