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Core for composites: Winds of change

Core materials suppliers lean into the bracing breeze of big-blade challenges raised by the burgeoning wind energy industry.

Article From: Composites Technology June 2010, Jeff Sloan, Editor-in-Chief
Posted on: 6/1/2010

The use of core material in composite applications is nothing new. Foam, balsa and honeycomb core have been mainstays of sandwich construction in boat hulls and decks for more than three decades, and can be found in hundreds of parts used in construction, energy, infrastructure and transportation applications. The last five years, however, have seen explosive growth in wind turbine blade manufacturing, which promises to make unprecedented use of core in a variety of sandwich constructions. The expansion of this market — and the influence it exerts — is changing how core is made and applied in composites construction. In response, core manufacturers and kitters are working to develop new core materials that meet wind’s demand for strength, light weight and low cost.

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