BASF will present its novelties for composites at the Paris “JEC Composites Show” from March 29 through 31, 2011, in hall 1, booth G 17.
This trade show is one of the world’s major exhibitions for these specialty materials. BASF will put its best foot forward as a globally recognized supplier of innovative epoxy and coating systems designed specifically for manufacturing and coating rotor blades of modern wind turbines. An additional focus this year will be on novel composites based on polyurethane (PUR) and epoxy for automotive lightweight construction.
New systems enable serial production of lightweight structural automotive components
As composites are gaining importance in structural components, especially in lightweight automotive design, BASF is offering new solutions based on epoxy and PUR that are branded Baxxodur® and Elastolit® R, respectively. Both systems feature similar properties and can be selected individually to match the customer’s application conditions and requirements.
Lightweight structural automotive components can only be manufactured from composites based on continuous carbon or glass fibers. The RTM, or resin transfer molding, process has become the established technology for producing these materials. In this process, multi-layered fiber-reinforced textile preforms are introduced into a heated mold on a press. The mold is closed and a liquid synthetic resin is injected under pressure that fully impregnates the filaments and then cures in a controlled reaction. Structural parts featuring superior mechanical properties, for example for vehicle chassis, require fiber levels in the range of 50 percent. This adds to the requirements that the resin systems must meet.
The two innovative systems from BASF feature significantly reduced cycle times, with demolding times of less than five minutes. Thus they resolve one of the critical issues that have to date prevented the use of high-performance composite plastic materials in automotive serial production. They function by innovative curing mechanisms. This means that they can be processed much longer than conventional products and still cure much faster if required. As a result, the fibers can be impregnated perfectly with these low-viscosity resins, which avoids the formation of “dry” areas that might negatively affect the mechanical properties of the finished component. On the other hand, the high speed of the complete reaction facilitates short cycle times. Both systems are self-releasing and suitable for processing on common high- and low-pressure equipment. Components made from these materials show excellent thermal and mechanical properties.
The novel epoxy systems for the automotive industry are based on the same innovative principle as the new epoxy systems BASF launched in 2008 for the production of wind turbine blades: the use of so-called latent curing agents offers users in both industries a significantly lengthened pot life while it reduces cycle times at the same time. BASF holds patents for these systems.
Other PUR novelties
By expertly combining fiber-reinforced structural components with lightweight PUR foam cores, you can achieve top-quality composite structures that feature excellent specific component stiffness and good isolating properties – plus low weight. The specially developed Elastolit D systems are characterized by high compression strength and temperature resistance combined with low density.
Fiber-reinforced components or composite moldings for commercial vehicles, in particular, can be realized cost-effectively by open mold spray application used in the PUR composite spray molding (PUR-CSM) process. In its Elastocoat® C system, BASF has developed an in-mold coating material for use on commercial high-pressure CSM equipment. As well as high-quality fiber-reinforced composite parts, its applications include the reinforcement of metal faceplates or thermoforming film. With part-specific requirements determining the structure of the sandwich, compact and foamed PUR systems were developed that are reinforced as required by adding short or long glass fibers. Elastocoat C for CSM processing is solvent-free and stands out by its excellent mechanical properties, good flow properties and ease of handling. A system based on renewables is available as an additional option.
New coating materials
RELEST Wind RepKit – the innovative solution for rotor blade repairs
Through its Industrial Coatings Solutions business BASF supplies complete coating and repair solutions for wind turbines. Its blade coatings have been tried and tested in real life for decades. Flexible systems for plant maintenance are available today that avoid the expensive need to replace entire rotor blades and minimize turbine downtimes. At JEC 2011, BASF – a wind energy pioneer – presents its new RELEST ® Wind RepKit for onshore and offshore wind energy plants. Along with all the materials and tools necessary for rotor blade repairs, the kit also comprises an extensive application training seminar. The new RELEST Wind RepKit has been designed for stationary use on the ground or on wind turbines.
RELEST Wind ProcessCoat, an exceptionally efficient coating solution for rotor blades
Effective protection against erosion and UV radiation is essential in rotor blade coatings. It is the kind of protection that you get from RELEST Wind ProcessCoat, which was developed to meet these precise requirements and incidentally, by its low product use, helps to reduce rotor blade weight and optimize the process. RELEST Wind ProcessCoat is just one of the products in BASF’s extensive coatings range for wind energy applications.