Strong, lightweight airfoil demonstrates feasibility of utilizing polyurethane in resin infusion process
Las Vegas, February 23, 2012 — The resin infusion process has traditionally utilized vinyl ester, unsaturated polyester and epoxy materials to form large, high-performance parts. However, these materials have drawbacks, including limited strength and the presence of styrene, among others. Continuing its successful track record of polyurethane innovation, Bayer MaterialScience LLC has developed a custom polyurethane system that gives processors a better alternative to traditional resin infusion materials. In doing so, Bayer is further expanding the markets for this proven and versatile material, with potential applications that include wind turbine root rings and blades, and lightweight, structural components for the transportation industry.
"Polyurethane has usually been associated with fast processing, such as reaction injection molding, not resin infusion, where gel times can be an hour or two," said Dr. Usama Younes, principal scientist, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. "Utilizing our expertise in polyurethane chemistry, we've developed a custom polyurethane system that not only overcomes previous challenges of using urethane in the resin infusion process, but also offers a better alternative to traditional materials associated with this process."
The new Baydur® RTM polyurethane system possesses low viscosity and long gelling times. The custom formulation offers a faster demold time than epoxy, for improved process efficiency. Stronger than polyester, it is possible to reduce the wall thickness of parts using the new Baydur system, resulting in parts that are lighter weight but do not sacrifice strength.
To demonstrate the feasibility of using polyurethane in the resin infusion process, Bayer formed an airfoil, an aerodynamic component that helps improve fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks by reducing wind resistance. The demonstration part measures four feet by eighteen inches and utilizes an inmold polyurethane gelcoat, also developed by Bayer, to provide a Class A surface. This technology will be on display at Bayer's booth #757 during Composites 2012, held Feb. 2123, in Las Vegas.
"By using polyurethane in combination with the resin infusion process, we created a stronger, lighter airfoil," said Dr. Younes. "As a leader in polyurethanes we're now looking forward to bringing this innovation to new markets, so that users can take advantage of the benefits of composite polyurethanes. Parts made of composite polyurethane offer such benefits as better corrosion resistance when compared with metal and better performance compared with polyester."
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.
Thomas Erdner, Phone: 412-777-5200
For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC's composites technology, call 412-7777454, or visit www.bmsnafta.com.
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.
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