Heat Treating Toughens Wind-Turbine Components Against Extreme Conditions


Source: Windpower Engineering & Development


Dr. Florian Rovere, Oerlikon Balzers (LinkedIn)

A heat treating process surfaces as one of the most effective methods to prolong the lifespan of wind turbine components. Turbine shaft bearings, planetary gears, and rotating shafts operate under extreme conditions, and the demand for taller and larger wind turbines limit the options available to manufacturers and operators seeking protection against wind, weather, fatigue, and overall wear and tear.

Plasma nitriding was recently found in tests to exhibit “one-fifth the roundness deviation and seven times better planarity than gas nitriding on a two-meter diameter ring gear,” said Dr. Florian Rovere of Oerlikon Balzers, a supplier of surface technologies for metal processing industries in North America.

“Plasma nitriding has the advantage of making the treatment more precise by minimizing warping and distortion while providing a higher load-bearing capacity,” notes an article published in Windpower Engineering & Development.

“It is . . . an important discovery for the service life of a system where enormous forces are at work,” said Rovere.


Read more: “How Coatings Can Extend the Life of Wind-Turbine Components”


Photo credit: Oerlikon Balzers

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