Composite materials for wind power turbine blades

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Renewable energy resources, of which wind energy is prominent, are part of the solution to the global energy problem. Wind turbine and the rotorblade concepts are reviewed, and loadings by wind and gravity as important factors for the fatigue performance of the materials are considered. Wood and composites are discussed as candidates for rotorblades. The fibers and matrices for composites are described, and their high stiffness, low density, and good fatigue performance are emphasized. Manufacturing technologies for composites are presented and evaluated with respect to advantages, problems, and industrial potential. The important technologies of today are prepreg (pre-impregnated) technology and resin infusion technology. The mechanical properties of fiber composite materials are discussed, with a focus on fatigue performance. Damage and materials degradation during fatigue are described. Testing procedures for documentation of properties are reviewed, and fatigue loading histories are discussed, together with methods for data handling and statistical analysis of (large) amounts of test data. Future challenges for materials in the field of wind turbines are presented, with a focus on thermoplastic composites, new structural materials concepts, new structural design aspects, structural health monitoring, and the coming trends and markets for wind energy.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAnnual Review of Materials Research
    Pages (from-to)505-538
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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