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Hexcel has developed a new prepreg specifically for the manufacture of wind turbine blades.
HexPly M19 cures in 15-20 % less time than current prepregs used for the same application, which means that less energy is required to cure the prepreg and more blades can be produced in a week.
In addition HexPly M19 is diuron free, making it more pleasant to use, friendlier to the environment and compliant with new EU regulations that are being phased in over the next 11 years.
One of the major advantages of HexPly M19 is its low risk of uncontrolled exotherm. When curing composite laminates there is a risk of exotherm (excessive heat) being generated, particularly in thick laminates where the heat is slow to dissipate. The heat generated by the process further increases the reaction which can become a vicious circle and turn into an uncontrolled exotherm. To avoid this effect, cure cycles often involve a dwell (rest period) at low temperature (eg. 80 C) to allow the heat to dissipate and drive the reaction forward in a controlled manner, but this is time consuming and obviously prolongs the production process. HexPly M19 has the same mechanical and handling properties as the established HexPly M9 prepreg range, is designed for the manufacture of shells, spars and the root end and is available with glass and carbon fibre reinforcement.
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