09/30/2008, Düsseldorf


Wind of change

Innovation leap from Henkel: First PU-adhesive to be certified by Germanischer Lloyd for bonding rotor blades

Rotor blades have to withstand extreme stressing. In wind turbines, the tips of the blades whip through the air at peak speeds of up to 300 km/h. Their quality depends not least on the reliability of their adhesive bonds. Germanischer Lloyd has now certified the first polyurethane adhesive for the wind power sector: Henkel’s Macroplast UK 8340. With this product, Henkel is consistently pursuing its strategy of developing sustainable adhesives solutions that offer genuine value added in terms of ecology, quality and economy.

Wind turbines must perform reliably for a specified service life of 20 years without major repairs. And the rotor blades of large turbines have to satisfy especially stringent standards regarding fatigue strength. Conventionally, they are bonded together e.g. by using epoxy adhesives certified for this application by Germanischer Lloyd (GL). With Macroplast UK 8340, Henkel is now the first company to develop a GL-certified polyurethane adhesive for rotor-blade production. The new technology offers multiple benefits to wind turbine manufacturers, allowing them to optimize processes, improve productivity and reduce costs. At the same time, this forward-looking product from Henkel has excellent sustainability credentials.

For applications in the wind power sector, Henkel already offers a broad range of products, including UV- and weather-resistant sealants for steel tower segments, anaerobic threadlocking systems, and various adhesives for component bonding as well as waterbased release agents for the demoulding of GRP. Macroplast UK 8340, the new two-component polyurethane adhesive, underscores Henkel’s technological leadership in adhesives and sealants. Compared to epoxy technology for instance, this innovative polyurethane adhesive for rotor blade bonding offers significantly greater freedom during the production process.

Macroplast UK 8340 impresses users with its rapid curing. Polyurethane-based adhesives react faster than the conventionally used epoxy resins and thus accelerate the process and significantly boost the productivity. “Thanks to the lower exothermal reaction during application, this two-component Henkel adhesive considerably reduces both the duration and the temperature of the tempering phase,” says Hartmut Pilz, Market Manager Wind. For rotor blade manufacturers, this means considerable energy-saving potential, which has a positive ecological impact on the overall assessment. At the same time, because it is applied at low temperatures, the adhesive reduces the likelihood of stress cracking.

Another positive feature of the new PU adhesive is its excellent wetting behavior, which considerably shortens time-consuming and costly preliminary work such as sanding and laminating. Compared to conventional adhesives technologies, Macroplast UK 8340 offers far greater scope for optimizing production processes and opens up a new dimension in rotor-blade construction. The innovative PU technology from Henkel improves the efficiency of the entire production process and sets new standards in sustainability.