Demand for wind energy is rising fast as the world shifts to renewable sources of electricity. To meet this demand, manufacturers are building ever-larger turbines, with some blades reaching up to 80 meters in length. Today’s generation of bigger and more powerful wind turbines has a demanding job: withstanding extreme forces while producing energy reliably over the longest possible service life. Materials are key to their performance. They must combine strength and lightness with the ability to be precision-designed to exacting standards.
To help deliver these qualities, a world-leading producer of structural core materials collaborated with SABIC to enhance their foam used in turbine blade cores. The company chose our innovative LNP™ COLORCOMP™ compound because it allowed them to reduce weight and can improve the mechanical properties of sandwich structures that use polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foam. LNP COLORCOMP compounds using nanotechnology enable the foam producers to reduce the size of the cells in the foam by a factor of up to two while maintaining the same density. Foam cores can therefore be lighter and more efficient, so designers can create longer blades that carry lower mass.
We worked closely with our collaborators to develop this innovative product solution, which is seeing growing demand in the market. In an industry that is strongly focused on sustainability, wind turbine blades using thermoplastic PET foams made with LNP COLORCOMP compound can be recycled at the end of their service life.
With advanced materials, SABIC is helping to power the future of wind energy.