Development of high bending stresses due to a sudden gust of wind is a significant cause for the failure of wind turbine blades. Self-healing provides a fool proof safety measure against catastrophic failure by healing the damages autonomously, as they originate. In this study, biomimetic, vascular channel type of self-healing was implemented in glass fiber reinforced polymer matrix composite that is used in wind turbine blades. Microscale borosilicate tubes are used to supply the healing agent to the epoxy type of thermoset polymer matrix, and the healing was very effective. However, 25% decrease in tensile strength and 9% decrease in three-point bending flexural strength were imminent with the inclusion of a single layer of vascular vessels in the composite material. Three-point bending tests were performed before and after self-healing of flat specimens to find the extent of recovery of flexural strength on using vascular channel type of self-healing. An average recovery of flexural strength of 84.52% was obtained using a single layer of vascular vessels on the tensile stress side of three-point bending. Breakage and bleeding of the healing agent within the composite specimens during three-point bending tests were observed in real-time. Based on the encouraging findings, the above self-healing feature was successfully implemented in a prototype wind turbine.
Self-Healing of Wind Turbine Blades Using Microscale Vascular Vessels
Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received November 12, 2016; final manuscript received February 20, 2017; published online March 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Bengt Sunden.
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Matt, A. K. K., Beyhaghi, S., Amano, R. S., and Guo, J. (March 16, 2017). "Self-Healing of Wind Turbine Blades Using Microscale Vascular Vessels." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. September 2017; 139(5): 051208. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4036052
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