For many years we have been supplying our wind energy customers with reinforcing materials for increasingly longer rotor blades and larger wind turbines. On the one hand, this allows the efficiency of the turbines to be increased, while on the other the lightweight construction facilitates transportation of turbine components to areas that are difficult to access – for instance when developing offshore wind farms on the high seas. In such situations our products can withstand even the most hostile of environmental conditions.
Our non-crimp fabrics made of glass and carbon are used to reinforce the webs, spar caps and shells of wind turbine rotor blades. Very high mechanical forces act in the area of the blade connections in particular, and our materials must be able to withstand these stresses. For the area of the blade connections we supply glass and carbon non-crimp fabrics for monolithic construction. Our special functional fabrics SAERfix are particularly suited for such applications. Self-adhesive SAERfix fabrics mean that spray adhesives become a thing of the past. For shells and spars our structural core material SAERfoam is seeing increasingly use in sandwich construction, alongside multiaxial interlaid complexes. In the area of spars, UD (unidirectional) carbon fabrics are seeing increasing use alongside UD glass fabrics, in order to facilitate even longer rotor blade spans.
To meet the increasing requirements of rotor blades with longer blade lengths of up to 107m, SAERTEX is using many new material developments in the area of the spar cap in addition to the well-established unidirectional fabrics made of E-glass. Innovative solutions include the use of fabrics made of new fiber types, such as H-modulus glass fibers or carbon fibers, as well as hybrid fabrics made of glass and carbon fibers.
A new reinforcement material for the spar caps is the "EASY DRAPE UD", available in E-glass fiber, H-glass fiber or carbon fiber versions. Thanks to their specially stretched fibers, EASY DRAPE UDs allow a higher degree of wrinkle-free draping of the textile as well as a higher quality finished laminate. This increases process stability and enables time savings of up to 15% in the lay-up process. EASY DRAPE UD also improves the mechanical properties of laminates by delivering up to 20% better tensile strength.
In addition to our standard and special function fabrics, we also offer the wind industry services such as powder coating, cutting & kitting, prototyping, GL certified laboratory testing and our complete component manufacturing service in Stade, Germany.
In addition to our standard and special functional multiaxials, we also offer the wind energy sector services such as cutting & kitting, prototyping, GL-certified laboratory testing and our complete component manufacturing service in Stade.
SAERTEX has been part of this rapidly growing industry right from the very beginning. Our close cooperation with customers enabled us to develop lightweight construction materials that allow ever more efficient wind turbines to be produced. All around the world, manufacturers in the wind energy industry are experiencing a renaissance – just like SAERTEX. Because we have grown along with our customers and branched out into international markets. We now have production and service operations in 10 countries on 5 continents.
In 2014 SAERTEX received the prestigious JEC Innovation Award in the wind power sector for the MAPRETEC project. This award recognised our contribution to the automation of rotor blade manufacture in cooperation with the University of Bremen and AREVA Blades.
Current SAERTEX-News about the wind energy industry:
SAERTEX fabrics, also known as NCFs (non-crimp fabrics), are characterised by stretched fibres within the individual layers. In comparison with crimped fibres, as found in woven textiles for instance, straight lay-up (non-crimp) fibres have the greatest possible load-bearing capacity.
Scientists and students at the École de technologie supérieure in Montreal have been working on the research and development of solar vehicles. To date, this has resulted in nine vehicle prototypes powered exclusively by solar energy and named “Eclipse”.