Castings With a Tailwind

The world‘s leading manufacturer of wind power turbines, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, with its headquarter in Jutland, Denmark, strongly supports the development of wind power casting technology. The subsidiary Vestas Castings Group AS is the key supplier of castings for their wind power turbines. Compared to welded parts, castings offer much better fatigue properties, which is essential for components with a required minimum lifetime of 20 years. The weight of the castings is a critical factor for the functionality and price of a wind turbine. Therefore, the production of wind turbine castings – weighing from 100 kg up to 15 tons – requires a very high standard of process control and quality.

Vestas wind turbine (photo) and main castings in a wind power turbine

Their main products are rotor hubs, main bearing housings and base frames. The castings are made of as-cast low temperature impact resistant ferritic ductile iron, with high demands on metallurgical quality as well as mechanical and fatigue properties. In addition, excellent surface quality and negligible internal defects such as shrinkage or porosity are required. To achieve these goals, MAGMASOFT® has been used for years, supporting gating design as well as minimizing casting defects.

Simulated temperatures show the solidification progress for a front section casting Left). The photo right shows the impressive size of the ductile

* Courtesy of Vestas Casting Group AS, Norway