3M has announced the availability of their new Wind Tapes 8608 and 8609 for the wind energy market. Wind Tapes are adhesive-backed polyurethane tapes that are "placed on the leading edge of wind turbine blade to reduce damage caused by sand, rain, moisture ingression, insects, and airborne particles. The new tapes are also formulated to resist the damage and weakening effects of ultraviolet rays. Used to help protect wind turbine blades, the tapes can help reduce maintenance and replacement costs and extend the service life of the blade." A similar protective tape made by 3M for helicopter blades extends product life by up to X10. The new Wind Tape "is typically applied to the outer two-thirds of the blade where the speed is the fastest and protection most critical. Providing energy absorption, Wind Tapes from 3M spread the impact force of particles over a wider area of the blade, protecting its structural and aesthetic integrity."
Like an enormous roll of Scotch Tape. The bigger the turbine, the bigger the roll. The bigger the rolls, the better it gets for 3M. As more industrial companies benefit in this manner from the wind 'value chain', the economic importance of renewable energy will be increasingly apparent to elected officials. More broadly, as the renewable energy value chain encompasses a multitude of new "goesintas" (the components and base materials that "go into" the making of renewable energy generation products), we will reach a tipping point, beyond which the fossil fuel industry no longer has an exclusive grip on political power in Washington DC.
3 cheers for 3M for finding a way to make tape increase the useful design life of wind turbines. This positions them on the "leading edge" of climate protection. Let's hope it sticks. Via:: Aerospace Online Image credit:: 3M Protective Tape