Frankenthal, Germany -- Rotor blade edges on wind turbines are subject to wear - particularly in offshore conditions, where blade tip speeds of up to 300 km/h coupled with the presence of sand and salt particles, insects or other floating debris, cause abrasion. In such situations, repair costs are high, as replacement needs cranes or lifting platforms, and down time is also costly for the energy producer.
Replaceable polyurethanes foils provide a cost effective solution, said German tape and foil producer CMC Klebetechnik GmbH of Frankenthal, Germany. The company offers a wide range of these tapes and says for the highly loaded rotor blade edges, impact-tough, resistant to friction PU foils are the ideal "sacrificial surface."
The tape is designed to prevent damage to the surface of the rotor blades, in particular its front edge, where erosion would cause loss of aerodynamic performance and stability.
As well as good abrasion resistance, PU foils are clear, very flexible and weather and UV-resistant. The acrylic adhesive offers good long-term ageing and does not yellow. A 0.300 mm thick foil of the company's CMCprotect 63630 resists erosion on a long-term basis, contributing to a cost-efficient wind energy business, the company said. Long service intervals reduce maintenance costs, and the PU-tape can be removed relatively easily, CMC said.