PAN-Based Carbon Fiber Impregnation Prepreg Machine Line System

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Jota Hot-Melt Thermoset/Thermoplastic Prepreg Machine

Our continuous fiber-reinforced polymer prepreg machines are ideal machines for composite material production in aerospace,automotive, hypercar, etc.

Prepregs are essential raw materials for the production of high-performance carbon fiber and glass fiber composite materials.They can be divided into two types: thermoplastic and thermoset.

If you are looking for prepreg machines, please send us an inquiry on this website.

Jota Machinery: Your Reliable CFRTP CFRP Prepreg Machine Manufacturer in China

Jota is the original CFRT/CFRP prepreg machine manufacturer here in China.

With our own factory and CNC center, equipment quality could be effectively guaranteed.

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Around 30-45 days, mainly depends on machine type.

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Carbon Fiber Wind Turbine Blades Technology

As global demand for clean energy rises, wind power, as a renewable energy source, is experiencing rapid development.

Blades are a crucial component of wind turbines, however, traditional fiberglass blades suffer from issues such as high weight, low strength, and poor durability, thus constraining further advancements in wind power.

Wind energy as a significant component of renewable energy, is expected to maintain rapid growth.

Consequently, there’s an increasing demand in the market for technological advancements in wind turbine blades, pushing them towards larger and lighter designs.

Lightweight and high-strength carbon fiber has emerged as the inevitable choice for reinforcing materials in large-scale blade manufacturing.

As blade length increases, the mass increases more rapidly than energy extraction since mass increases proportionally to the cube of blade length while electrical energy generation scales with the square of blade length.

Simultaneously, longer blades impose new requirements for enhancing materials’ strength and stiffness.

Glass fiber, a prevalent material in large composite blade manufacturing, is gradually revealing performance shortcomings.

To ensure that blade tips do not strike the tower under extreme wind loads, blades must possess sufficient stiffness.

Achieving reduced blade mass while meeting strength and stiffness requirements effectively involves adopting carbon fiber reinforcement.

Foreign experts assert: “Since existing materials cannot adequately meet the demands of high-power wind turbines, the performance of glass fiber composite materials has approached its limits.

Therefore, it is imperative to employ higher-performing carbon fiber composite materials in developing larger wind turbines and longer rotor blades.”

With increasing demand for wind power equipment, the market’s requirements for larger, lighter, stronger, and more durable wind turbine blades are on the rise.

Wind turbine blades mainly consist of resin matrix materials, reinforcement materials, core materials, and other auxiliary materials.

Currently, epoxy resin predominates as the matrix material, while glass fiber dominates as the reinforcement material.

However, the rigidity and durability of glass fiber composite materials significantly lag behind carbon fiber, unable to meet the demands of scaling up.

Carbon fiber materials offer distinct advantages in the upscale and lightweight process of wind turbine blades.

carbon fiber yarn

The wind power industry stands as a high-demand sector for carbon fiber materials, with wind energy being one of the most extensive applications of T300 carbon fiber.

The primary application area of carbon fiber in wind turbine blades is the main spar.

Compared to high-modulus glass fiber main spar blades of the same level, blades designed with carbon fiber main spars can achieve weight reductions of 20% to 30%.

For example, in a 122-meter-long blade, reducing blade weight significantly reduces the load transferred to the main components such as the hub, nacelle, tower, and foundation, thereby lowering the overall cost of wind turbines by over 10%.

As the strength and stiffness of carbon fiber blades increase, blade dynamic deformation during operation decreases, effectively enhancing blade aerodynamic performance and wind turbine power generation efficiency.

Therefore, by using carbon fiber blades to reduce loads on the shaft and tower, wind turbines exhibit smoother and more balanced power output, higher operational efficiency, and good fatigue resistance.

Moreover, post-assessment evaluations can extend blade lifespans, reducing overall maintenance costs and comprehensive expenses.

The molding processes for carbon fiber composite main spars primarily include three methods: carbon fiber fabric vacuum infusion, prepreg molding, and pultruded plate vacuum infusion.

Carbon fiber fabric vacuum infusion and prepreg molding technologies have been early applications in blade manufacturing, and they are relatively mature.

However, as blade scaling demands increasingly lighter weights, these methods can no longer meet future blade development requirements.

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has been using carbon fiber pultrusion technology in blades since 2015.

This process involves forming carbon fiber into pultruded plates, which are then assembled and fixed onto the skin to become the blade’s main spar.

This design concept divides pre-cast infusion main spars into efficient, low-cost, high-quality standardized pultruded sections, achieving overall assembly in a single step.

The advantages of this process mainly manifest in 4 aspects:

(1) Pultrusion significantly increases the volume content of carbon fiber (up to approximately 70%), fully exploiting the performance advantages of carbon fiber, significantly enhancing composite material performance, and effectively reducing material usage to lower main spar weight.

(2) Standardized pultruded sections greatly improve production efficiency, ensuring consistent and stable product performance, suitable for mass production.

(3) Customizable pultruded plate length and width reduce waste during production, resulting in high material utilization rates.

(4) Overall costs are significantly reduced as the plates are directly formed from fiber pultrusion, reducing weaving and prepreg processes, and reducing investment in main spar molds during molding, substantially lowering transportation and assembly costs.

After Vestas developed carbon fiber pultrusion main spars, large-scale batch applications began on wind turbine blades, significantly promoting carbon fiber applications in the wind power field.

For example, in 2021, carbon fiber usage in wind power reached 33% of all global carbon fiber applications, with Vestas alone accounting for approximately 25,000 to 28,000 tons.

Hence, pultrusion has become the mainstream process for carbon spar production in wind turbine blades.

Advantages of carbon fiber wind turbine blade:

Increased blade stiffness and reduced mass.

Carbon fiber’s density is approximately 30% lower than that of glass fiber, with 40% higher strength, especially exhibiting a modulus 3 to 8 times higher.

Employing carbon fiber reinforcement in large blades fully leverages its advantages of high elasticity and low weight.

Research from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands shows that for a wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 120 meters, where the spar’s mass exceeds half of the total blade mass, using carbon fiber spars can reduce the mass by around 40% compared to those using all-glass fiber spars.

The stiffness of carbon fiber composite blades is twice that of glass fiber composite blades.

Analytically, utilizing a hybrid reinforcement scheme of carbon and glass fibers can reduce blade weight by 20% to 30%.

In the case of Vestas’ V903-MW turbine with 44-meter carbon fiber wind turbine blades instead of glass fiber resulted in blade masses identical to those of the company’s V802MW turbine with 39-meter blades.

Similarly, for 34-meter blades, when reinforced with glass fiber polyester resin, the mass was 5800 kg, with glass fiber epoxy resin, 5200 kg, while with carbon fiber epoxy resin, it was only 3800 kg.

Other studies indicate that wind turbine blades made with added carbon fiber are approximately 32% lighter than those made with glass fiber, with cost reductions of about 16%.

Improved fatigue resistance of blades

Wind turbines operate continuously in harsh conditions, putting materials at risk of damage.

Studies show that carbon fiber composites exhibit outstanding fatigue resistance, especially when mixed with resin materials, making them one of the best materials for wind turbines to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Smoother and more balanced power output of turbines, enhancing energy utilization efficiency

Utilizing carbon fiber reduces blade mass and increases stiffness, improving blade aerodynamic performance and reducing loads on the tower and shaft.

As a result, wind turbines produce smoother and more balanced power output, enhancing energy efficiency.

Additionally, carbon fiber blades are thinner and have more effective designs, resulting in longer, slimmer blades that improve energy output efficiency.

Manufacture of blades suitable for low wind speeds

The application of carbon fiber allows for the manufacture of blades that are suitable for low wind speeds.

By reducing the load and increasing blade length, large-diameter blades suitable for low wind speed areas can be produced, thereby lowering the cost of wind energy.

Manufacturing of self-adaptive blades

Blades mounted on the turbine’s rotor shaft can adjust their angle.

Presently, the design wind speed for active utility-size wind turbines ranges from 13 to 15 m/s (29 to 33 mph).

When wind speeds exceed this range, blade pitch is adjusted to dissipate excess wind force, preventing damage to the turbine.

While pitch control systems are effective for gradually changing wind speeds, they respond too slowly to sudden, instantaneous, and local changes in wind speed.

Self-adaptive blades utilize the characteristics of fiber-reinforced materials to generate asymmetry and anisotropy, employing a bending/torsion blade design to reduce instantaneous loads when rotating in strong winds.

Sandia National Laboratories in the United States is dedicated to research on self-adaptive blades, aiming to reduce the electricity generation cost of 1.5 MW wind turbines to 4.9 cents per kWh, making them competitive with fossil fuel power generation.

Avoiding lightning strikes using conductivity properties

Utilizing the conductivity properties of carbon fiber, along with special structural designs, can effectively prevent damage from lightning strikes on blades.

Reducing manufacturing and transportation costs of wind turbine blades

Reduced material application results in decreased fiber and resin usage, making blades lighter and reducing manufacturing and transportation costs.

This reduction may lead to smaller factory sizes and transportation equipment.

Possessing vibration damping characteristics

The vibration damping properties of carbon fiber can prevent the possibility of blade natural frequency resonating with tower damping frequency in large blade manufacturing.

Due to the use of carbon fiber in large blade manufacturing, polyester resin has been replaced by epoxy resin.

Moreover, in recent years, there has been increased attention on manufacturing “green blades” using natural fibers and thermoplastic resins.

For instance, Ireland’s Gaoth company has been responsible for producing 12.6-meter-long thermoplastic composite blades, while Mitsubishi is set to conduct trials on “green blades” for wind turbines.

If successful, they plan to further research and develop standard thermoplastic composite blades exceeding 30 meters.

To reduce mold costs and lighten mold weight, large composite blade manufacturing molds are gradually shifting from metal molds to composite molds.

This transition also implies that composite material blades can be made longer.

Additionally, since the mold and blades use the same materials, the thermal expansion coefficient of the mold material is like that of the blade material, resulting in greater precision and dimensional stability of composite material blades compared to those produced with metal molds.

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