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Special glass makes wind blades lighter.


The trend toward longer wind-energy blades requires composites that are stiffer, lighter, or both. One alternative to conventional E-glass is carbon fibers, which have disadvantages of cost and availability, as well as in fiber straightness, wet-out, and compression properties. A less expensive option is ZenTron S-glass fibers from AGY, Aiken, S.C. ZenTron boasts 28% higher stiffness/weight ratio than E-glass.

The company sponsored a study by the Knowledge Centre-Wind Turbine Materials and Construction in Wieringermeer, Holland, and the Compositec composite materials resource center in Le Bourget-du-Lac, France. They examined the mechanical performance of vacuum-infused unidirectional ZenTron roving in epoxy. The study found that ZenTron could provide up to 25% weight reduction in the unidirectional spar cap and trailing-edge components of a wind blade, permitting up to 11% total weight reduction in a 62.5-meter (205-ft) blade compared with E-glass. Tel: (888) 434-0945 *
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Title Annotation:KEEPING UP WITH: Composites
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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