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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 16, Number 4, October 2015 , pages 593-606

Application of self-healing technique to fibre reinforced polymer wind turbine blade
Omosola Fifo, Kevin Ryan and Biswajit Basu

    This paper presents a novel concept of healing some of the damages in wind turbine blades (WTBs) such as cracks and delamination. This is achieved through an inherent functioning autonomous repairing system. Such wind turbine blades have the benefit of reduced maintenance cost and increased operational period. Previous techniques of developing autonomous healing systems uses hollow glass fibres (HGFs) to deliver repairing fluids to damaged sites. HGFs have been reported with some limitations like, failure to fracture, which undermines their further usage. The self-healing technique described in this paper represents an advancement in the engineering of the delivery mechanism of a self-healing system. It is analogous to the HGF system but without the HGFs, which are replaced by multiple hollow channels created within the composite, inherently in the FRP matrix at fabrication. An in-house fabricated NACA 4412 WTB incorporating this array of network hollow channels was damaged in flexure and then autonomously repaired using the vascular channels. The blade was re-tested under flexure to ascertain the efficiency of the recovered mechanical properties.
Key Words
    wind turbine blade; self-healing; flexural stiffness; vascular network; fibre reinforced polymer
Omosola Fifo, Kevin Ryan and Biswajit Basu: Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

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