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Abrasion/Impact Resistant Coatings for Wind Turbine Blade Protection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0017698
Agency Tracking Number: 230166
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 15a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001619
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-06-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-03-11
Small Business Information
130 North Main Street
Butte, MT 59701-9314
United States
DUNS: 836287680
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Eduard Stefanescu
 (406) 497-5227
Business Contact
 Lawrence Farrar
Phone: (406) 497-5252
Research Institution

In most wind turbine cases, in the absence of maintenance and repair the polymer composite blades’ service life can be significantly diminished compared to original estimates, and the overall turbine efficiency can severely suffer. Current repair products such as epoxy-based fillers and/or solvent-based paints have very limited abrasion-resistance capabilities. In addition, wind protection tapes cannot be applied over chipped and damaged leading/trailing edges and have poor adhesion capabilities. This Small Business proposes to develop a novel, tough and durable thermoplastic powder-coating material for wear protection of wind turbine blades. The coating materials developed in this Phase I/Phase II project will be light-weight and will exhibit excellent resistance to mechanical impacts/abrasion, thermal shock and UV rays, and will be capable to strongly adhere to the composite surface of the blade. The novel Polymer Thermal Spray (PTS) technology will be employed to deposit the resultant abrasion/impact resistant thermoplastic coatings. The fully portable PTS system allows for line- of-sight deposition of polymeric coatings over substrates of great complexity, such as eroded and wrinkled edges of worn wind turbine blades. Initial results from a pre-proposal experiment indicate that the proposed technology has great potential as an abrasion/impact protective solution for the leading edge of wind turbine blades. Ongoing discussions with a major worldwide wind turbine provider have emphasized the significant abrasion problems caused by heavy rain and sustained winds to the leading edge of wind turbine blades and have highlighted the critical need for abrasion protection of such blades. This established relationship makes this major worldwide wind turbine provider an ideal starting point in the search for business partners to substantiate commercialization efforts.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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