A company of Cannon Group, Cannon Afros has developed an innovative direct infusion system for faster processing of epoxy and polyurethane (PU) resin systems for the manufacturing of wind turbine rotor blades. Rotor blades are typically made of fiberglass reinforced resin through vacuum infusion technology. They are the most important components in terms of performance when wind turbine manufacturers and power generation operators explore ways to reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCoE).
Cannon’s new direct infusion system leverages their established DX and DXI series of resin mixing machine technology with real-time data management which automatically adapts dosing to ensure the required flow rate at constant mix ratio. The system allows for several independent pressurized infusion lines along which peristaltic valves control, extremely precisely, the right amount of resin mix at the optimum pressure at each infusion gate. This, combined with the possibility of adding an automatic and self-adjusting vacuum bagging infusion unit, controls the resin flow required to complete the infusion process and help reduce cycle time.
Since the new process is closed and sealed, there is a much lower exothermic risk during curing and no exposure to air and humidity to contaminate the resin systems, and importantly, a drastic reduction in exposure to VOCs for operational safety. Cannon has observed a significant improvement in mould filling time depending on various parameters such as the resin system used, fibre volume content, number of infusion points, level of automatization and blade geometry.