Alternatives to balsa wood in wind turbine blades

Sandwich structures made using balsa wood have been used in composite structures worldwide for more than 40 years. The aim of a core is to distribute stress and loads from one skin across the thickness to the other. Compared to laminates with balsa, sandwich structures with SAERfoam generally show superior performance with a reduced weight.
Balsa wood has always been a good choice when it comes to applications that require a high stiffness-to-weight ratio in applications like rotor blades for the wind industry. But while balsa has extremely good stiffness properties, the rising trend of building longer rotor blades, combined with the need to reduce weight and to have a reliable supply chain, shows the limitations of this material. As a primary supplier of non-crimp fabrics for applications in the wind industry,SAERTEX has always driven innovation in materials with the idea of further improving composite solutions for its customers. This includes not only the performance of fibre reinforcements, but also processes and the interaction of fabrics, core materials and matrices.

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