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Case study

Cast PU pads ease wind turbine installation

A key advantage of wind energy and wind turbines is that they contribute to a cleaner environment. Polarttech, a cast polyurethane manufacturer that produces bearing pads and tensioner track pads for the offshore industry was looking for more sustainable materials that do not compromise on quality.
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Task

Sustainable material for wind turbine installation padding

Installing offshore wind turbines is a challenging task. Strong ocean winds, heavy rains and passing mega-ships are just a few of the immense physical stresses that can impede wind farm installation. 

To ensure that a wind turbine can withstand the challenging offshore conditions it might face during the turbine mounting process, the industry currently uses several different kinds of pads made of either rubber or conventional polyurethane. 

The function of these pads is to improve reliability and safety during installation by preventing damage to the wind turbine components – allowing them to quickly begin producing renewable energy.

Tensioner track pad containing CO2 technology- based material exhibited at the UTECH 2021 show
Challenge

Durable yet sustainable material for offshore conditions

Sustainability concerns are growing in many industries, so companies like Polarttech are seeking new ways to reduce their carbon footprint while retaining and improving the material performance of their products.

Polarttech is a Dutch-based company that develops and produces polyurethane-based products including bearing pads, tensioner track pads and other parts specially designed for the offshore wind industry, particularly for use during the installation of wind turbines. 

Polarttech prioritizes both high quality and increased sustainability, and is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In line with this, the company was searching for a sustainable high-performance material for the offshore industry that shows very good hydrolysis resistance and high durability while also offering excellent damping properties. 

As a supporter of renewable energy, Polarttech is also integrating sustainability into its own operations, and is collaborating with partners who are focused on creating a more circular economy.

We are pleased when manufacturers choose this more sustainable solution, and appreciate the trust they place in our innovations, especially in our Desmodur® elastomer systems containing material based on our CO2 technology, now called Triturn®.

Thomas Braig

CEO, Covestro

Solutions

A novel cast elastomer containing CO2 as a raw material

With bearing pads and tensioner track pads in mind, Polarttech approached our experts about developing a novel cast elastomer which had been outlined at the UTECH Europe 2018 show. We were happy to take up the challenge.

The result is a Desmodur® elastomer system produced with material based on our Triturn® CO2 technology. This system not only provides the material properties that Polarttech requires, it even surpasses the company’s previous chemical material system in its damping performance. 

The innovative solution developed in collaboration with our experts enables Polarttech to manufacture products containing up to 20 percent carbon dioxide as a chemical raw material, replacing some of the traditional fossil-based raw materials that have been used in pads up to now. 

At the same time, this cast elastomer, which features components based on Triturn® CO2 technology, is actually easier to use thanks to its longer pot life and easy demolding process. 

Compared to rubber, which has been the conventional material for bearing  and tensioner track pads in the offshore industry, our Desmodur® elastomer system with CO2 technology-based components is more durable. It provides excellent damping properties, making for a safer wind turbine installation process. The use of fossil raw materials is also reduced, meeting Polarttech’s desire for more sustainable products. 

Polarttech has confirmed both the high-quality material characteristics and easier processing in its own internal tests.

The newly developed cast polyurethane solution for both our bearing pads and tensioner track pads surpasses our previous system in damping properties. Its processing is also easier thanks to long pot life and easy mold detaching. This makes it an excellent solution – especially for the environment.

Arthur Brouwers

CTO, Polarttech

Key Benefits

  • High performance: Components based on our CO2 technology offer quality for the offshore industry.
  • Durable: Bearing and tensioner track pads show hydrolysis resistance in harsh conditions.
  • More sustainable: Reduced use of fossil materials and longer lifespan enhance sustainability.
  • Damping properties: Bearing and tensioner track pads show excellent damping and more reliability.
  • Ease of use: Parts separate from their molds easily, reducing the rejection rate.

We support renewable energy and the offshore industry with collaborations and innovative products. 

Discover what we can achieve together!

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