Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Development of Novel Self-Healing Polymer Composites for Use in Wind Turbine Blades

[+] Author and Article Information
Arun Kumar Koralagundi Matt

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
115 E. Reindl Way,
Glendale, WI 53212
e-mail: koralag2@uwm.edu

Shawn Strong

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
115 E. Reindl Way,
Glendale, WI 53212
e-mail: spstrong@uwm.edu

Tarek ElGammal

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
115 E. Reindl Way,
Glendale, WI 53212
e-mail: elgammal@uwm.edu

Ryoichi S. Amano

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
115 E. Reindl Way,
Glendale, WI 53212
e-mail: amano@uwm.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 13, 2014; final manuscript received February 17, 2015; published online April 22, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Bengt Sunden.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 137(5), 051202 (Sep 01, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1409; doi: 10.1115/1.4029912 History: Received December 13, 2014; Revised February 17, 2015; Online April 22, 2015

Wind turbine blades undergo fatigue and their performance depletes as time progresses due to the formation of internal cracks. Self-healing in polymers is a unique characteristic used to heal the cracks inherently as they form. In this study, a new method is demonstrated for supplying the monomer (that is quintessential for the healing process) uniformly throughout a fiber reinforced polymer composite. Commercial tubes were used to produce a vascular network for increased accessibility of the healing agent. The tube layouts were varied and their effect on the composite structure was observed. Conventional glass fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites (PMC) without microtubing were tested using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) to study the flexural visco–elastic behavior. The vascular network arrangement coupled with DMA data can be used to uniformly supply appropriate amount of healing agent to implement Self-healing in fiber reinforced PMC.

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Fig. 4

SEM image of the glass fibers reinforcing the composite (samples A, B, and C)

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Fig. 5

SEM image of the fractured mold sample that was subjected to destructive tensile testing

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Fig. 3

Photograph of the mold used to obtain sample E

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Fig. 2

Photograph during the molding process of sample D. Resin-hardener mixture is flowing from right to left.

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Fig. 1

Photograph of the tubes being placed with small drops of glue to hold them in place over the glass fiber

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Fig. 6

Dynamic mechanical properties in three point bending for sample A

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Fig. 7

Photograph of the mold used to obtain sample D (only the rectangular portion contains microtubes)

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Fig. 8

(a) and (b) Photographs of the transverse section of sample D

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Fig. 9

(a) and (b) Photographs of the transverse section of sample E



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