Worldwide specialty chemicals provider BASF announced on July 25 that sound-absorbing
molded parts made of its melamine resin Basotect, has been in installed in the laminar wind tunnel of Institute of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics at the University of Stuttgart.
In the laminar wind tunnel model components of aircraft wings or wind turbines are tested and optimized with respect to their aero-dynamic performance by using airstreams. Because of the wind tunnel’s unusual shape, the insulation manufacturer WKT-Produktion of Germany made customized Basotect molded parts for it. The company Faist Anlagenbau, Germany was responsible for the engineering, the acoustic design and the installation of the parts, said BASF.
Around 45 meters in length, the wind tunnel sucks in air from the outside and speeds it up at the entry part of the wind tunnel. Then follows a closed measurement section where the components are studied. In order to improve the quality of the aero-acoustic measuring the wind tunnel had to be additionally sound-insulated: This was necessary as the blower system generates noise that spreads through the measurement section and thus interferes with the measuring.
Due to its open-cell and fine foam structure, Basotect shows good sound absorption in the medium and high frequency ranges, according to the press release. The processing capacities of the flame-retardant BASF foam were also crucial. The flexible material can easily fit different shapes and is free of fibers when cut. Thus, absorption panels of different thicknesses could be made to fit snugly against the conical walls of the wind tunnel. The Basotect panels used vary in thickness from 3-100cm. They are lined with a thin, black polyurethane skin that protects them from dirt and moisture, the company stated.
Basotect is an open-cell foam based on melamine resin with a unique product profile: Its basic material makes it flame-retardant (in Germany: B1 according to DIN 4102), abrasive, and suitable for conditions of up to 240C while retaining its properties over a wide temperature range. Due to its open-cell foam structure, it is lightweight (9 g/l), sound-absorbing, flexible at low temperatures, and thermally insulating. Basotect is used for e.g. sound absorption and thermal insulation in applications that require heightened fire safety, such as in buildings, cars and trains.