Ludwigshafen, Germany - BASF will present its novelties for composites in Hall 1, Booth G 17 at the Paris "JEC Composites Show" from 27-29 March 2012, an event which BASF says is "one of the world's major exhibitions for these speciality materials."
BASF moves forward in this field as a globally recognised supplier of innovative epoxies and coating systems designed specifically for manufacturing and coating rotor blades of modern wind turbines. The chemical giant said an additional focus this year will be on novel composites based on polyurethane (PU) and stepped-up automotive lightweight activities.
In mid-2011, BASF took a step toward wider plastic applications on automobile bodies and chassis by establishing a cross-divisional, multi-material Lightweight Composite Team. This team is simultaneously investigating the potential that three plastic matrix systems, epoxy resin, PU and polyamide, hold for continuous-fibre reinforcement in resin injection processes suitable for mass production, including in particular resin transfer molding (RTM).
Under the Baxxodur and Elastolit R brands, BASF says it already offers solutions based on epoxy resin and PU systems, respectively. Both of these thermoset materials feature novel curing mechanisms that make them cross-link in a matter of minutes. They can be processed by means of common high- and low-pressure equipment.
A first demonstration component based on BASF's multi-faceted materials for RTM processing is the conceptual study of a multi-segmented convertible roof module in which a polyurethane foam core is sandwiched between carbon-fibre reinforced cover layers. The layer in the core of the demonstrator sandwich plate is a closed-cell structural PU foam, branded Elastolit D.
With its low bulk density it acts as a spacer between the skins of the laminate, ensuring extremely high component stiffness. It also provides the roof module with good insulating properties. At a total weight of 2.6 kg, the roof segment based on a fibre-reinforced composite sandwich concept reduces weight by more than 40 percent compared to an aluminum, and by more than 60 percent compared to a steel structure.
BASF's coatings division will present new materials for improving the economic efficiency of wind turbines, including an intelligent repair system, while new offerings for the production of rotor blades for advanced wind turbines, will also be on show.