Epoxy Curing: The Economic Approach

Epoxy curing has its challenges. Most resins for composite construction need post curing heat assistance. There are different approaches you can take for post curing temperature control. But of all the tactics and options available, there are really only two kinds: those that cost a lot of money and those that don’t.

 

Post Curing Epoxy Resins

When it comes to epoxy curing, most every epoxy resin, especially those used in composite and carbon fiber construction, has to cure and post cure at high temperatures. Normal ambient temperatures, even during hottest summer months, are never enough. Take Gold Coast Yachts for example. Gold Coast Yachts manufactures high-end, carbon-fiber yachts. Their assembly process used to involve a very expensive and time-consuming procedure for post curing the large carbon frames.

Before Gold Coast starting using Powerblanket® Curing Blankets, they had to post cure their carbon fiber structures in large ovens. But get this; they had to construct those large ovens themselves. When you have to post cure structures as large as Gold Coast does, you’re not going to find a curing oven big enough. Instead, Gold Coast had to essentially construct rooms around the carbon-fiber body, so they could then pump enough heat into the enclosed space for the post cure to set properly. If this sounds expensive and time consuming, it’s because it was.

Once Gold Coast started using our curing blankets, however, they began saving thousands of dollars and hours (even days) worth of time. We were able to customize the right size curing blankets for them to use in insulating and heating their structures for post curing perfection.

Big yachts made of carbon fiber aren’t the only large-scale dilemmas for epoxy curing. We also have several clients in the wind turbine business who use our blankets to cure the seams in those gigantic blades that go on the wind mills we all see generating so much electricity. Imagine trying to find or build an oven for one of those.

Now, the question is: what can our curing blankets do for your curing needs? Whether you have big or small parts to cure and post cure, Powerblanket curing blankets can save you the time and money associated with curing ovens. Curing ovens are expensive, and they’re limited in size and transportability. Our curing blankets, on the other hand, have no such limitation and are much, much easier on the pocket book. We have many standard sizes and we can quickly design and build custom sizes at a very reasonable cost. So when you have curing needs, look no further than here.

 

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Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

UMA AwardUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 


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Amazon Invests in Wind Power Powerblanket® Invests in Epoxy Curing

That’s right, Amazon, the online retail giant is also concerned with renewable energy. So much so that they’re investing big in new wind turbine projects in North Carolina. Now Powerblanket and Amazon have something in common, with Powerblanket investing plenty of time and resources in proper epoxy curing for the wind power industry.

 

 

Amazon and Renewable Energy

In 2014, AWS (also known as Amazon Web Services) announced a respectable, and perhaps lofty, goal of running the entire organization on 100 percent renewable energy. How are they going to do so? Well, two wind-power projects in North Carolina and Indiana are a perfect start. AWS recently disclosed the fact that they have contracted with an organization known as Iberdrola Renewables to build wind turbines in a region in North Carolina. This project is expected to come to life sometime in December 2016 and will involve 208 megawatt wind turbines in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties.

This new addition to the landscape will be aptly name the Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East (that U.S. East part will be a good differentiator should Brazil ever decide to build wind turbines anywhere near the rain forest.) The reports state that this new wind farm will produce as much as 670,000 megawatt hours of wind energy per year. As a point of reference, that amount of electrical energy could power a small U.S. town for a whole year. We’re talking a town of roughly 200,000 to 300,000 residents, but the numbers are still impressive. Of course, Amazon isn’t going to be powering small towns. Instead, it will use the energy to power their AWS Cloud data centers.

In addition to this, Amazon announced another wind-farm project to undergo construction in Fowler Ridge in Benton County, Indiana. This one will generate around 500,000 megawatt hours and will come online before the Carolina project. As impressive as these projects are alone, they are still only part of Amazon’s renewable energy efforts. Word has it that the company is investing in solar energy projects too.

 

Powerblanket Also Invests in Wind Power

While we might not be supplying data centers with electrical energy harnessed by the power of wind, we are, nonetheless, vested in the industry of wind power. The construction of large wind blades involves large-scale epoxy curing that would be very costly or nearly impossible without the proper curing solution. This is why Powerblanket is proud to play a part by offering the best curing blankets around. Wind blade manufacturers use our blankets to ensure strong cure joints and fast turnaround times. Now, Powerblanket is happy to welcome Amazon to the wind-power family.

Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

Whether it’s for repair or initial construction, curing epoxy resin on wind turbine blades can be a tricky endeavor. However, with the right technology, this arduous process can be a whole lot easier.

 

Wind turbine blade on the ground

Wind Turbines: A Large Scale Application

The typical wind turbine blade ranges in length from 116 ft. to as much as 148 ft. That accounts for a big hunk of glass-fiber or carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Either way you look at it, the curing process involved with such a beast is certain to take a lot of space. That’s why wind turbines are often created in pieces and then secured by joints.

Very strong, high-temperature epoxies are used for this process, but as anyone who’s worked with epoxy knows, the proper curing takes some extra heat. Can you imagine building a hot box around the joint of a turbine blade? Better yet, can you imagine having to stick that huge thing in an oven? The idea sounds ludicrous, and it is when you consider that there is a much better way of approaching the problem.

Instead of being left to the need of a hot box or an oven to properly heat cure epoxy resin on wind turbines, you could apply localized heat to the area that needs to be cured. That’s right, localized heat in the form of a revolutionary heat blanket that evenly distributes heat over the entire surface area of application. In addition to the amazing ability this blanket has of transferring heat, it also has the capability to regulate it.

By using thermostatic controllers, you can use such a blanket to cure epoxy at the ideal temperature. It’s simply a matter of setting the temperature range to the proper level for your application and then waiting for it to work its magic. With customization possibilities, this blanket is available in as many sizes as necessary, so you can cure even the largest cure joint. Shoot, you could even cure the whole blade if you want.

 

 

The Future of Wind Power Looks Bright

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the future for wind power looks to be a bright one. Over the next several years, growth looks to sky rocket.

 

Wind mills in a field

By the Year 2020

They say hindsight is 20/20, but in the case of wind energy, foresight could be 2020 as well—the year 2020, that is. According to the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International, the global wind power market could as much as triple by the year 2020.

Based on the fourth edition of the Global Wind Energy Council’s Outlook, expectations conclude that wind power could supply up to 12% of the world’s electricity by the year 2020. What’s more, the same report speculates that this could create as much as 1.4 million new jobs, and in turn, reduce CO2 emissions by over 1.5 billion tons per year.

But the good news for the wind-power industry doesn’t stop there. According to the same report, experts speculate that by 2030, wind power could supply more than 20% of the world’s electricity. “It is clear that wind energy is going to play a major role in our energy future”, said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, (GWEC.net).

Additionally, wind power not only fuels our need for electricity without any harmful byproducts, but it also (along with solar energy) doesn’t use any of our precious natural resources to produce it. The wind’s going to blow whether we strategically and carefully place turbines in its path or not, so we might as well take advantage of it by procuring energy in a safe and pollution-free way.

 

More from the Experts

“The most important ingredient for the long term success of the wind industry is stable, long term policy, sending a clear signal to investors about the government’s vision for the scope and potential for the technology”, said Sven Teske, Greenpeace senior energy expert. “The Global Wind Energy Outlook shows that the industry could employ 2.1 million people by 2020 – 3 times more than today, given the right policy support,” (GWEC.net).

GWEC.net

Global Wind Energy Council

http://www.gwec.net/global-wind-power-market-could-triple-2020/

 

 

What Is The Best Heating Method For Curing Wind Turbine Blades?

Wind FarmThere are many different methods that have entered the market throughout the years to heat wind turbine blades during the curing process. Some methods are more effective than others and some are more expensive than others.   Some methods have come and gone; some have stayed and improved while others have not changed at all. The thing that has not changed is the cost and inefficiencies of some of these methods.

Have you ever tried curing a wind turbine blade using hot air blowers? Blowers are expensive to buy and expend a lot of energy and electricity.

What about Kilns? Kilns are used by many of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. Kilns require extensive maintenance and repair, are unsightly, require continuous fueling matter to fuel the heat and may emit environmentally hazardous toxins into the air.  

What about heating blankets? A heating blanket is a modern approach to curing wind turbine blades; an energy efficient solution, which has revolutionized effective heat spreading. This technology ensures the heat is effectively and evenly distributed, while continuously maintaining optimal temperatures. Heating blankets are portable for use in the plant or out in the field.

Customers have told us that Powerblanket® heating blankets have the best heat to low power requirement for curing wind blades.

Heating blankets are safe for the environment, provide an efficient and even heat source at optimal temperatures, and come in customizable sizes to meet industry needs. Additionally, heating blankets reduce the amount of time it takes to cure the epoxy for wind blade repair. This equates to increased profitability because more wind turbine blades can be repaired in a shorter amount of time.

So when considering the best solution for you to cure wind turbine blades, take a look at your business and determine which curing method provides the most benefit to you and your customers.