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MicroGrid® Materials for Wind Applications

Featured Product from Engineered Materials, a subsidiary of PPG's aerospace division

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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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Expanded Solutions for Engineers with Tough Applications
PPG expanded metal foils and polymers are use by some of the world's most recognized companies. Dexmet Corporation is now part of the PPG Aerospace family.

The Right Material for Your Application
Our versatile expanded metal foils and polymers are used by Fortune 500s and leaders across many different industries. When developing applications that require micro-mesh open area materials, developers and engineers turn to Dexmet for the technical experience needed to shorten the development cycle and provide the best performing, highest quality, and most cost-effective products.

We outperform the competition and ensure that our products meet our customers expectations for performance and precision. Our processes are monitored by a AS9100:D and ISO 9001:2015 quality control system to ensure a great product at a great price.