Advances in turbine construction
support boom in wind power
Wind energy is not new, and many improvements have been made to the wind turbines of yesteryear. But as the world seeks out new sources of clean energy, interest in wind power has surged. The wind power marketplace has been re-energized with new thinking in design, construction, and locale. A number of ITW’s polymer and fluid businesses such as Schnee-Moorhead and Plexus have stepped up to the plate, helping wind turbine manufacturers meet the rigorous production and installation demands of modern-day wind technology.
Wind turbine blade assemblies can be greater than 125 feet long and 6 feet wide. These blades need to be manufactured in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. Without Schnee-Morehead’s advanced sealant tape, “Tacky-Tape,” used as the only means to seal vacuum bags in the infusion process of wind turbine blades, the release of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) would pose an environmental and health and safety risk. The tapes help the industry meet rigors environmental regulations while keeping up with demanding production schedules.
The wind turbine blade is also manufactured in two halves that are bonded together, then installed to a 400-foot tall tower and placed onshore or offshore in formidable ocean climates. Unlike other adhesive technologies, Plexus® Adhesives chemically cross link and fuse composite structures together. Ideally suited for adhering large composite wind turbine blades, they combine strength and flexibility in a single adhesive that’s proven to be more durable than many adhesives used in the industry.