The incumbent technology for wind and other renewable structures is thermoset. Use of polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy resins are the standard. There remains considerable opportunities to decrease cost and optimise throughput of blades using these existing technology. Modularisation at the design phase makes components simpler and more suitable for automation. Material handling, and bespoke automation solutions can aid in material deposition rates. Other automation solutions for blade finishing (trimming and painting) can aid cost reduction and reduce variability. In mould sensorisation can be linked with Digitalisation to enable cure time optimisation through cure progression and live monitoring of temperatures without constant supervision.
The interest in thermoplastics continues to grow due to potential for recycling and reducing the end of life challenge of thermoset solutions. Airborne has a fundamental understanding of thermoplastic materials in design, processing and forming. We recognise the opportunity in renewables for these materials and while not yet established, we are open to supporting the market understand and develop new applications for structures manufactured from fibre-reinforced thermoplastics.
Hydrogen will become a vital means of storing and transporting energy, to drive the electrification of transport in many sectors. Airborne has a long history of creating solutions for high pressure gas storage and transport, both in tanks and pipelines. Fibre-reinforced plastics are the most weight-efficient way to contain high pressures, but special care should be given to the design, manufacturing quality and the fittings, where the gas is entered or released. Airborne knows how to design and manufacture at industrial scale, both in thermoset and thermoplastic technologies.
Industrialisation solutions to ensure the right material, process and equipment.
Assembly of 2D and 3D preforms for offline assembly and improve in-mould cycle times.