Christopher William Ince Jr. writes about the role of carbon nanotubes in providing superior materials for the wind energy industry:
A major problem plaguing the wind energy industry is the inability of current manufacturing materials used in wind turbine blades to keep up with increasing demand. Dr. Usama Younes and Dr. Serkan Unal of Bayer MaterialScience LLC plan to release the results of a study recently conducted by Bayer on its development of polyurethane turbine blades designed to withstand increased stress. The study discusses how the properties of carbon nanotubes improves the fracture toughness of the materials used in the blades. According to Dr. Younes,
“Incorporation of a small amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes improves the fracture of both polyurethane and epoxy composites by as much as 48 percent. The addition of carbon nanotubes is a viable option to improve the strength of wind turbine blades.”
This development was made possible by a grant from the Department of Energy for the purposes of comparing current materials with newer polyurethane systems as well as for the development of stronger composites for turbine blades.
Source: Azonano. (2012). Carbon Nanotubes Improve Fracture Toughness of Polyurethane Composites for Wind Turbine Blades.
Christopher William Ince Jr.