Investigating Core Gaps and the Development of Subcomponent Validation Methods for Wind Turbine Blades: Paper No. AIAA 2020-0493

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

3 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Core gaps are a common manufacturing defect observed in wind blade composite sandwich constructions, which occur when sheets of core material are not properly butted up against each other in the mold. The aim of this study was to characterize core gaps in composite sandwich constructions at the coupon scale to gain an initial understanding of the defect before developing appropriate methodologies for more complex subcomponents as part of a much broader wind blade structural validation and damage tolerance program. Long beam flexure in 4-point-bending was chosen as the most appropriate loading scenario. Beam specimens were characterized with and without 10 mm core gaps in fiberglass/balsa sandwich beams. The core gaps were characterized with two different resin systems: a Hexion epoxy and Arkema’s Elium resin system (a novel, infusible thermoplastic). Results showed that the Elium beams without the core gaps had a 15% lower static strength than their epoxy counterparts. The introduction of the core gap to the epoxy beams reduced their static strength by 35%. The Elium beams, however, exhibited negligible strength reductions with the inclusion of the core gap. Overall, this characterization study provided pertinent information with regards to core gaps as a manufacturing defect to allow for continued development of damage tolerance and subcomponent validation methodologies with the inclusion of manufacturing defects.
Original languageAmerican English
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA SciTech 2020 Forum - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 6 Jan 202010 Jan 2020

Conference

ConferenceAIAA SciTech 2020 Forum
CityOrlando, Florida
Period6/01/2010/01/20

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-75249 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-78284

Keywords

  • core gaps
  • subcomponent validation methods
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine

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