Manufacturing and Flexural Characterization of Infusion-Reacted Thermoplastic Wind Turbine Blade Subcomponents

Robynne Murray, Ryan Beach, David Snowberg, Derek Berry, Dylan Cousins, Yasuhito Suzuki, Aaron Stebner, Dayakar Penumadu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus Citations


Reactive thermoplastics are advantageous for wind turbine blades because they are recyclable at end of life, have reduced manufacturing costs, and enable thermal joining and shaping. However, there are challenges with manufacturing wind components from these new materials. This work outlines the development of manufacturing processes for a thick glass fiber–reinforced acrylic thermoplastic resin wind turbine blade spar cap, with consideration given to effects of the exothermic curing reaction on thick composite parts. Comparative elastic properties of these infusible thermoplastic materials with epoxy thermoset materials, as well as thermoplastic coupon components, are also included. Based on the results of this study it is concluded that the thermoplastic resin system is a viable candidate for the manufacturing of wind turbine blades using vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding. Significant gains in energy savings are realized avoiding heated molds, ability for recycling, and providing an opportunity for utilizing thermal welding.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)945-961
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-71074


  • Elasticity
  • Mechanical testing
  • Thermoplastic resin
  • Vacuum infusion


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