Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy-Efficient Powder Coating :Energy Efficient Powder Coating (ST7276-1)

General Electric Co. Gobal Research


Present day approaches to electrically insulate generator parts are labor-intensive, hand-applied, require costly skilled labor and on-site, sole-source effort; all of which contribute to high energy costs. In addition, generator downtime for repairs is expensive, and the insulation process uses solvents and other hazardous materials. The result of this current electrical insulation manufacturing/repair method is higher energy costs. Materials currently used in insulation systems include pressure-sensitive tapes, adhesives, and strips or rolls of insulating materials. Not only are these materials expensive to produce, but the manufacturing and application process is subject to regulatory controls in a number of instances.

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Project Description

The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing a full-scale generator component utilizing a high-throughput powder-coating process. The performance of this part will be evaluated upon installation into an in-service generator.


Energy savings: lower cost to insulate generator parts. Economic: New York State powder coating vendors instead of Massachusetts or India, and powder coat subcontractors move from low-tech decorative coatings to high-tech functional coatings. Environmental: Environmentally benign with no VOCs. Reliability: more reliable generators - fewer and shorter scheduled outages.

Project Results

Extensive screening of 10 candidate materials was conducted. The screening, which included both basic material properties as well as application specific tests, resulted in the identification of two candidates. The second tier of testing selected these candidates as a primary and a backup material. The primary material, with its high glass transition temperature, displayed high crosslink density that translated to a high maximum operating temperature, but also resulted in a more rigid material; prone to lower impact strength and a low coefficient of friction. The backup material was more ductile, but was lower in maximum operating temperature and showed higher creep values. High-speed balance tests of the full scale rotor showed a well-balanced field with very low thermal vectors. After disassembly and evaluation, the unit was reassembled and successfully passed a subsequent high-speed balance. Further development effort is required before powder coatings can be considered viable for turbine generator rotor field coil insulation applications. Future work in this area should focus particularly on developing cost-effective coating manufacturing processes and on improving coating coefficient of friction properties.


General Electric Co. Gobal Research
PNCBank c/o GE Global Research Niskayuna Lockbox Number 645044
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Principle Investigator

Patricia Irwin

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply
Combustion Turbine

NYSERDA Contact Information

James Foster


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7276-1

Last Updated: 3/4/2014 1