MicroGrid® Materials for Wind Applications

Featured Product from Dexmet Corporation


MicroGrid® Materials for Wind Applications
With all rotary blades, lighting is more prone to hit the leading edge and the outer blade surfaces towards the tips where the highest amount of static energy is generated. For these locations, heavier, more conductive materials are utilized.

As you move towards the root of the blade, a lighter weight material can be incorporated to reduce weight and cost. The variability with Dexmet’s expanding process provides the capability of producing a custom material based on desired weight, conductivity, or open area to meet exact application requirements.

Dexmet MicroGrid® Advantages 
Lightning protection materials are available in either copper or aluminum in a wide range of configurations to minimize weight while maximizing conductivity across a wide blade surface

Proven Technology For Lightning Strike Protection
Tested to IEC64100 Specification
Highly Conductive Patterns Matched To Specific Requirements
Configured to withstand multiple lighting strikes of the blade surface. Effective down conductor material 
Easily Repairable For Low Maintenance Costs And Minimal Downtime
Ensures no structural damage to the composite materials below, making for lower downtime and more economical repairs

How Dexmet Lighting Strike Materials Protect Carbon Fiber Wind Blades 
As power output requirements increase for wind turbines, wind generator manufacturers are moving towards larger blades to rotate these larger turbines at lower wind speeds. As the wind blades increase to over 45 meters in length, blade construction is moving away from the more traditional all fiberglass construction to utilize more carbon fiber. The carbon fiber provides substantial weight savings and increased strength to combat the extreme stress loads exerted on the blades during operation. Carbon fiber, however, is conductive and more prone to be struck by lightning, but not conductive enough to channel the energy out of the blade. Without proper protection, they are susceptible to severe lightning strike damage and catastrophic failure.

For two decades, Dexmet has worked with aircraft designers developing precision expanded MicroGrid® foils for lightning strike protection on carbon fiber composite aircraft. Wind Blade Manufacturers are also realizing the importance of having the proper lightning strike protection for larger carbon fiber blades and incorporating Dexmet’s precision expanded MicroGrid® materials into their designs. Dexmet MicroGrid® materials are thin, open area products applied to the top adhesive layer of the composite and are capable of achieving the critical conductivity required to dissipate a destructive lightning strike, protecting the carbon fiber layer below. Dexmet’s expanded copper and aluminum MicroGrid meshes are essential for extending the life of carbon fiber composite blades. In addition to protecting blades, expanded materials can also be incorporated into the composite turbine nacelles for additional lightning strike protection.

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Dexmet
Dexmet Corporation manufactures precision expanded metals, foils and polymers with exacting mechanical and electrical properties to meet very tight conductivity, weight and dimensional tolerances. The company maintains a continuous commitment to quality control and process improvement, including SPC implementation. Ongoing innovations include our unique, strand annealing furnace, as well as a host of other, highly specialized, proprietary equipment.

Dexmet’s solid customer base is predicated upon its reputation as the premier, quality supplier of precision-expanded metal foils. Many of our customers are among the world’s most recognized brands. When they need quality expanded material for their end products and applications they come to Dexmet. We welcome you to the family of Dexmet customers.

The Dexmet Quality System is ISO 9001:2008 certified. The company subscribes to the standard’s requisite features, including documentation and record-keeping, while it also maintains a flexible stance toward evolving standards and innovative ideas from our customers and employees. Thus, whenever a better way emerges to reduce cost, reduce scrap, improve quality, improve customer service and make it easier for our employees to produce your product with the smallest possible product variation, Dexmet’s Quality System is poised to incorporate these benefits.

The Dexmet Quality System is driven by the needs of our customers. We have adopted many suggestions from our customers and will continue to do so. It is this teamwork that makes us better.