by JEC Composites – 14 April 2011
Zoltek has recently received approval by Germanischer Lloyd (GL) for two more carbon fiber products to be used in wind turbine blades. The newly qualified products are Panex 35 Continuous Tow (50K) and Panex 35 Uni-directional Fabrics.
These newly approved products are in addition to Zoltek’s Panex 35 Prepreg which previously received GL approval.
This GL Statement of Approval enables wind blade manufacturers and design companies to select carbon fiber products that have been approved for blade construction based on rigorous testing and data analysis. Zoltek customers will have access to this data for design purposes.
Zoltek’s Continuous Carbon Fiber is a 50K tow manufactured from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor, and is available with a range of sizings for optimal processing and compatibility with a variety of resin systems. Zoltek’s quality system focuses on spool-to-spool consistency yielding low coefficients of variation.
Zoltek’s Uni-directional Fabrics are available in areal weights from 150 gsm to over 900 gsm and have been designed for enhanced infusibility. The higher areal weight versions allow for a rapid build-up to part thickness which is desirable in wind turbine blade spar caps.
Zoltek’s Prepreg product line which received GL Approval in early 2010 has found widespread acceptance for the fabrication of wind turbine blade spar caps. The superior compression strength coupled with Zoltek’s application technology for placing the prepreg rapidly and consistently into a spar caps have provided wind energy customers performance and manufacturing advantages.
Since its adoption into wind energy in 2004, Panex 35 has been the key material for increasing length, strength and stiffness while reducing the weight of wind turbine blades.