France: JEC Group Announces 2013 Winners of JEC Europe Innovation Awards Program
This year, 11 companies and their partners will receive an awards at JEC Europe – Composites Show and Conferences (March 12-14, 2013) for their composites innovations.
The jury has selected the best composite breakthroughs, based on their technical interest, market potential, partnerships, financial & environmental impact and originality. The decision to give prominence to these projects was based on their atypical nature and various noteworthy aspects.
In 2013, the winners were selected from the following categories: Raw materials, Thermoplastics, Multifunctional materials, Machining & Tool, Building & Construction, Aeronautics, Automotive, Wind Energy, Sports & Leisure and a Special prize.
In wind energy category, SchäferRolls GmbHH & Co. KG won an award for a thick-walled filament-wound carbon fibre composite shaft more than 8.5 metres long and nearly 1 metre in diameter.
The thick-walled (about 80 mm) filament-wound carbon fibre composite shaft is designed to carry extreme torque loads in a wind turbine drive train. It is manufactured in about 40 hours using a customized epoxy system with a long work life.
The shaft is flexible in bending to minimize the loads arising from manufacturing tolerances and designed to carry a very high torque load, hence its name “FlexShaft”. This was made possible by an innovative design with a clever use of the composite material’s anisotropy. The innovative lightweight FlexShaft torque shaft can transfer a torque load of several thousand kNm within a restricted geometrical design space. Handling the exothermic reaction of several hundred kilograms of epoxy resin, lasting several hours, during the manufacturing process is a task that few specialized companies can manage. A new method was developed to allow in-situ placement of the necessary connecting elements between the CFRP shaft and steel flanges during the manufacturing process, allowing fabrication without additional rework and improving the overall fabrication quality and load transfer.
After a 2-year development phase, a first full-scale prototype has been operating since September 2012 in Envision’s new 3.6 MW two-bladed direct drive offshore wind turbine in Denmark.
The market potential is about 100 million euros.
Press release, February 19, 2013; Image: jeccomposites