GMP Friction Develops Friction Materials for Wind Turbines

GMP Friction has developed friction material to brake and hold wind turbine blades during emergency, high wind or maintenance situations.

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GMP Friction Products, working with wind turbine manufacturers and the suppliers to the OEM market, has developed high-speed friction brake materials designed to reduce rotational speed below maximum value or bring the blades of a wind energy turbine to a standstill. Following more than 1,000 braking sequence tests, they have developed friction parts for brakes designed to more efficiently and reliably stop the wind turbine blades in the case of emergency or for maintenance.

"While the brakes themselves are a very small component in the entire wind turbine system, it is critical that they can meet the specific needs for the high energy wind market," says Jerry Lynch, president and COO of GMP Friction Products. "Our brake friction materials are more efficient and have a longer life which means fewer service requirements."

A high energy test, developed specifically for the wind market, has been successfully conducted using both the GMP Friction Products' in-house dynamometers and third party dynamometers for equivalent energy, torque output, coefficient of friction, and wear rate. Field testing was also conducted using the new brake material. The tests were developed and conducted in collaboration with wind turbine manufacturers and brake manufacturers.

This new braking friction product, when used by wind turbine manufacturers, is designed to brake quicker and more securely during heavy winds, which reduces the risk of damage during storms. The company's sintered metallic friction materials are able to withstand high-speed/high-energy absorption and peak temperatures.

GMP Friction Products will be attending WindPower 2012, hosted by the American Wind Energy Association June 3 to 6 in Atlanta, GA. Representatives from GMP Friction Products will be available to discuss the new brake material applications with attendees from the wind turbine and brake markets during the event.