Urbanisation is a megatrend: Urban Living is the dominant lifestyle of the future. By 2050, two thirds of the world's population will live in cities. This entails an increasing demand for energy. What is needed are transformers having the same or even smaller dimensions than the current models at a higher power. The demand for mobile transformers is also increasing, while at the same time old transformers have to be replaced. Both developments require transformers to be more compact and resilient in the future. This leads to higher demands on the construction materials used.
Röchling Industrial has developed the glass-fibre-reinforced plastic Durostone® particularly for these requirements. Durostone® CR is characterised by high mechanical properties combined with high dielectric strength. In that way Durostone® CR has advantages over existing construction materials such as steel and wood-based materials such as laminated pressboard and laminated densified wood.
Compared to steel, the electrical properties of Durostone® CR offer advantages, as there is no scattering loss in the material and a more compact transformer design can be achieved. Compared to wood-based materials, Durostone® CR has better mechanical properties. Likewise, the continuous operating temperature of Durostone® CR, at up to 180° C, is higher than that of wood-based materials, which are normally used at a maximum operating temperature of 105° C. One critical property why fibre-reinforced plastics have so far played a rather minor role in transformer construction is their electrical properties with regard to partial discharge. Glass fibre-reinforced plastics do not absorb oil.