New Bayer MaterialScience LLC material satisfies market demand for stronger wind turbine blades

Advantages include ultra-low VOCs, faster infusion time and use of sustainable raw materials

Las Vegas, February 22, 2012 — As demand for renewable energy increases, wind turbine blades are increasing in size, leading to longer blades that can achieve larger swept areas. Yet, gravity-induced bending loads on blades create dramatic increases in dynamic stress, heightening market demand for a material that reduces blade mass while retaining strength.

Current materials aren't designed to withstand these increased demands. Lighter weight composite materials with increased stiffness and enhanced fatigue endurance properties offer a promising solution. Bayer MaterialScience LLC's newly developed class of polyurethane systems offer stronger, tougher systems ideal for producing polyurethane composites materials suitable for manufacture of large parts by vacuum infusion.
Bayer's new Baydur® polyurethane system possesses low-viscosity and long-gelling properties. When compared with epoxy- and vinyl ester-based composites, the Baydur polyurethane system provides several key advantages, including,

  • Ultra-low volatile organic compounds (VOCs);
  • Faster infusion time;
  • Superior tensile fatigue, interlaminar fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth;
  • Use of sustainable raw materials from renewable resources.

Bayer principal scientist Dr. Usama Younes will share the results of a recent study, funded in part by a Department of Energy (DOE) grant that details the development of this new Baydur polyurethane system. His presentation, "New Generation Polyurethane-based Fiber-reinforced Composites for Vacuum Infusion and the Effect of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on their Performance," will take place during Composites 2012, held Feb. 21-23, in Las Vegas. The paper is co-authored by Dr. Serkan Unal.

As part of his presentation, Dr. Younes will explain tests they conducted comparing properties of incumbent epoxy and vinyl ester resin systems with a polyurethane resin system. The testing included two sets of long flow, vacuum-infusion experiments designed to compare the flow rates of the different resins. It also studied the effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes on fiber-reinforced composite properties. Results showed a clear trend toward improvement in the fracture toughness of the composites from the presence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes. "Incorporation of a small amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes improves the fracture of both polyurethane and epoxy composites by as much as 48 percent," says Younes. "The addition of carbon nanotubes is a viable option to improve the strength of wind turbine blades."

Development of the Baydur polyurethane system is the result of a two-part DOE grant (DOE award number DE-EE0001361) for the development of new, stronger composite materials for wind blades. The grant also will help fund additional research comparing the performance of new polyurethane resins systems with those of traditional epoxy and vinyl ester resins used for wind blades. The grant's scope includes investigating the effect of carbon nanotubes on the performance of polyurethane, epoxy and vinyl ester composites.

To learn more, stop by Bayer's booth, #757, at Composites 2012.

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,700 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

Contact:

Thomas Erdner, Phone: 412-777-5200
E-mail: thomas.erdner@bayer.com

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's composites technology, call 412-777-7454 or visit www.bmsnafta.com.

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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Acknowledgment: "This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0001361."

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