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AkzoNobel Accelerates Innovation with the World's First Testing Facility Dedicated to Wind Turbine Blade Technology.

AkzoNobel has opened the world’s first purpose-built wind turbine blade testing facility at its Felling plant in the UK, capable of conducting simulations at half the speed of sound.

The multi-million euro investment will bolster the development of AkzoNobel’s International® protective coatings brand, serving wind farms worldwide.

At the new facility, researchers can simulate harsh weather conditions from around the world and significantly increase the number of rain erosion tests conducted each week, tripling the current capacity. The "helicopter" test can operate at speeds up to 176 meters per second when fully engaged.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter in our long history of supporting sustainable innovation and product development,” says Ralph Slikkerveer, R&D Director of AkzoNobel’s Marine and Protective Coatings business. 

“Bringing this type of world class testing in-house – where we can immediately generate the data, analyze results and prolong testing periods – will transform our contribution to innovation in the wind energy sector. As one of the market leaders, we’ll be able to participate in a more meaningful way in lifetime prediction discussions on protective coating systems for wind turbine blades.” 

To facilitate the ultra-high speed tests, the new facility is equipped with a 1,000-liter water recycling tank. During testing, both water flow rates and the temperatures of both water and air can be adjusted as needed.

“The protective coatings we’ll be testing will help to future-proof our customers’ blades so they can withstand the most extreme weather conditions,” adds Slikkerveer. “We’ll now be able to perform more cost-effective and accelerated testing on new products, offering the best possible solutions for our customers at a time when global investment in wind projects continues to grow.  

Since 1904, the Felling site has been producing International products and has solidified its position as the brand’s global center for research and development.

AkzoNobel is the sole global paints and coatings company capable of providing comprehensive solutions for wind turbines, covering everything from the blade tips to the foundations. To date, they have coated over 80,000 wind energy installations worldwide.

Source : AkzoNobel



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