Vacuum Infusion Process Improvements Developed by McClarin Plastics Proves Promising for Wind Energy
McClarin Plastics Highlights Internal Advances to Improve Strength, Environment, Flexibility, and Life Span.
Hanover, PA, June 3, 2010 – McClarin Plastics, a leader in thermoforming and vacuum infusion of fiber reinforced plastics, believes wind energy producers will see better, stronger, greener materials/parts for their wind turbines by embracing vacuum infusion and process improvements developed by McClarin during the design and build process. General advancements over time, as well as technologies developed by McClarin, prove timely and promising as the market increases its global presence.
Vacuum infusion has been the standard process for many of these components for a number of years. Now McClarin Plastics highlights new internal developments that can enhance these parts. These components historically have been created using an open mold process; however, with vacuum infusion, the results are parts that are lighter in weight, improved physical properties, better fabrication methods, and reduced emissions into the environment. Additionally, McClarin has been able to improve the surface appearance without a costly second operation. Of other interest is McClarin’s development of adding surface details and features on the reverse side of the part, similar to the RTM process, without the costly tooling needed. This is a major advancement to improve part integration and lower over-all part quantities.
Focusing on the environment and life span as key factors for improvements, McClarin concentrated on and successfully tested an innovative new barrier coating that was tested by underwater submersion in a confidential project. “We were given a challenge and developed something unique to the market,” said Todd P. Kennedy, the Plant Manager of the Renewable Energy Division for McClarin Plastics. “The results we are seeing are surprising.” To date, this composite has exceeded the expectations in this difficult environment.
McClarin, with the vacuum infusion process, routinely imbeds components within the laminate during the infusion cycle, eliminating secondary bonding operations and insuring that these components are structurally secured. This one-step process increases the durability and time efficiencies since items/components are already infused into the laminate versus being applied secondarily.
McClarin Plastics fabricates nacelles, nose cones, and spinner hubs for industrial wind turbines utilizing the vacuum infusion process. They also make the outside shell for a smaller turbine used either commercially or residentially. As a contract engineering manufacturer, McClarin will build from a print, however they also have the capabilities and experience to work with their customer introducing new ideas that could ultimately save time and money through material selection, parts integration and assembly. To learn more about McClarin Plastics and their vacuum infusion process, please visit http://www.mcclarinplastics.com/vacuumInfusion.html.