One of my work task is to design blades and struts. Composite materials and more specifically glass fiber reinforced composites are normally used in wind turbine rotor blades. The floating vertical axis wind turbine are more prone to fatigue loads than conventional horizontal axis wind turbines. Therefore, we have decided to make the blades and struts out of carbon materials. It also have economical benefits due to high labor costs in Sweden.
In the process of verifying the blades’ and struts’ design, we needed to conduct coupon tests to get material properties more accurately. Some sample panels were produced by Elitkomposit and sent to the test center: Ad-Manus. In November 2020 me and my colleague had the chance to observe some of the tests. The tests could determine the stiffness and strength of four different laminates. Up on that the quality of manufacturing regarding porosity, fiber wetting and reached fiber volume fraction were checked as well. The results showed good quality and high mechanical properties. Now based on these results we can continue the design process more confidently.