Infiana and AkzoNobel Enter Cooperation
Films Manufacturer and Coatings Specialist Will Collaborate on FlexPLAS® Development
Combination of Film and Coating Optimizes Surface Quality
The collaboration between specialty films manufacturer Infiana and coatings specialist AkzoNobel allows for qualitative improvements in surface texture during wind turbine blade production. “Our testing has returned above-average results. Combining coating and film in the manufacturing of blade components creates an optimization in the production process,“ notes Stieglbauer. “Beyond the improved surface quality, there is also a reduction in process costs and lower environmental impact. The complex grinding and filling processes needed to activate the part’s surface are eliminated and coating weight can be further optimized,“ explains Soheila Salehi -Schneider, Project Leader FlexPLAS® at Infiana.
Significantly Shortened Production Time
In wind turbine manufacturing, process lacquer and topcoats are applied to turbine blades as lasting protection for the blade, as well as for optical reasons. Applying these lacquers is a complex process. First, all release agents must be removed from the cured component through cleaning, grinding, and filling before any lacquer can be applied. After this, gelcoats are applied in a series of layers. At the same time, the mold must be cleaned to prepare it for the next part. This is where the new technique comes in: by applying the gelcoat directly to the FlexPLAS® release film after it has been deep-drawn in the mold, the coating can be cured alongside the part in just one process step. “The advantages are obvious: relevant process times are reduced by up to 60 percent, the overall risk of coating defects is noticeably lower, the process becomes more environmentally friendly, and workplace safety is increased,“ adds Salehi-Schneider.
The innovative FlexPLAS® release film technology makes it possible to produce composite parts without liquid release agents. With an elongation of up to 300%, the film can be applied to molds like a second skin. Both the mold and the component remain residue-free after curing; time-intensive cleaning and activation steps are no longer necessary, and the end product is immediately ready to paint and ready to bond. This substantially reduces corresponding process times and creates cost savings. The release film can be used in all relevant composite industries, including the aerospace, wind energy, automotive, and medical markets.
About AkzoNobel: AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 45,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.
Infiana Germany GmbH & Co. KG
films for consumer and industry applications. The Group employs about 800 employees at three production sites in Forchheim (Germany), Malvern (USA) und Samutsakorn (Thailand), and is active in the personal care (film products for hygiene packaging), healthcare (release and process films, films for packaging), construction (release and surface films), composites (release and process films) and pressure sensitive markets (siliconized release films). More information can be found online at www.infiana.com.