Twin Sheet Thermoforming Key to Design
HOWES CAVE, NY - Kintz Plastics, Inc., a leading heavy gauge thermoformer, has been selected by Optiwind of Torrington, Connecticut, to produce covers for the vertical surfaces on Optiwind's innovative wind turbines. The Optiwind turbines are designed to harness wind power for mid-size commercial customers including schools, colleges, hotels, retailers, farms and municipalities. Unlike traditional wind turbines, the Optiwind turbines are compact, quieter, and will be built right on the site of the energy user.
Optiwind turbines stand just under 200 feet tall and require a cover that is strong enough to withstand wind and weather forces, but lightweight and durable. Twin sheet thermoforming, a manufacturing process that produces double-walled parts or components, provides the necessary strength, but is lightweight. By joining two thin sheets of plastic into one seamless unit, the part becomes stronger than a single reinforced sheet and will still be lighter and less expensive than alternative materials.
"Twin sheet thermoforming was key to the design of the wind turbine," said David Hurwitt, Optiwind Vice President of Marketing. "The cover that Kintz is producing is strong, lightweight and cost effective."
In addition to the strength requirement, the size of the part (66 inches by 105 inches) created a production challenge. This is the largest twin-sheet thermoformed part Kintz has produced to date.
"There aren't many thermoformers capable of producing a part this complicated and this large," stated Wynn Kintz, CEO of Kintz Plastics. "Our team worked with Optiwind to hone the technical specifications for this innovative product and create a part that will become an integral component of the wind turbine."
Optiwind's first wind turbine was built on a farm in Torrington in 2010. The company plans to launch commercially in 2011.
About Kintz Plastics, Inc.
Since 1976, Kintz Plastics, Inc., located in upstate New York, has been an industry leader in heavy gauge thermoforming - the state-of-the-art process for producing panels, covers, bezels and housings that are attractive and durable, yet lightweight and affordable. For more information, visit www.kintz.com.
Mary Bray Gallagher, MBA, APR