The rise of rotational moulding in the renewable energy sector


Rotational moulding is a plastic piece manufacturing technology that is perfectly suited to the requirements of the renewable energy industry. The cost reduction it brings is undoubtedly key to the sector, but another reason why companies opt for this process is its ability to produce products that are lighter in weight, highly durable and resistant to the harsh weathering conditions they normally have to endure. 

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But achieving a perfect product finish is no easy task and requires meticulous adherence to a number of best practices. Firstly, the manufacturing process has to avoid the appearance of overcuring or degradation of the piece, a circumstance that greatly influences the shortening of its useful life.

It is also important to provide the piece with a suitable geometry that takes into account the characteristics of the process. In this way, it is possible to optimize tolerances, provide the appropriate demoulding angles, and also avoid geometries that cause problems when it comes to achieving homogeneous thicknesses, or the formation of pores or voids.

The importance of appropriate materials

Materials play an important role in the manufacturing process. In addition to the correct application of additives, they must be formulated to ensure a long service life under the most demanding environmental conditions. It should not be forgotten that the pieces that make up the renewable energy devices are permanently exposed to the sun, wind, rain and their corrosive effect. 

For this reason, they must be provided with adequate thermal and mechanical resistance properties that guarantee compliance with the technical requirements set by the customer at all times.

In terms of materials, linear polyethylenes with a high ESCR (environmental stress ageing test) are generally the most suitable for the needs of the renewable energy sector. 

In certain cases, however, the use of cross-linked polyethylene may be necessary. Polypropylene or polyamide are also often used, especially when there are high demands on temperature resistance or a higher modulus of rigidity in the mechanical properties.

Successfully passing the most stringent quality controls

Last but not least, the product must be able to pass the most stringent quality controls. In this regard, one of the most revealing tests that can be carried out is the unit test of the tightness of each manufactured piece. We are talking about the capacity to prevent leaks -of water, fuel or coolants, especially- from the inside of the product. 

This non-destructive test is the best way of guaranteeing that the piece is totally watertight. An indispensable quality when it comes to, for example, floats and tanks that make up photovoltaic solar panels and floating wind turbines. A proper watertightness control guarantees that none of the pieces will fail at any time during their life cycle. 

Innovation, always present in rotomoulding

Innovation is a key pillar of rotational moulding and at Rotobasque it plays a fundamental role in the production of pieces. It is the vehicle for testing new materials, developing new formulations, making new designs and testing new complementary technologies.

New materials and new designs are achieved that improve the performance of rotational moulding and open up the range of solutions where rotational moulding can be used, bringing all its advantages. It also contributes to cost savings, increases the durability of the piece and reduces its environmental impact.

Added to a qualified engineering team, operators and a quality department with sufficient experience and knowledge, all this makes it possible to meet all requirements. At Rotobasque we develop the ideal solution for each customer, adding value to the final product thanks to its exclusivity. 

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