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Review of inspection and quality control techniques for composite wind turbine blades

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One of the main global engineering challenges for the wind energy sector is to develop efficient wind turbines with high fatigue life. Large wind turbine blades made out of polymer composites elevate specific stiffness, strength and good fatigue performance. However, large composite structures are prone to defects such as delamination and adhesive failure, which can lead to crack initiation and propagation under cyclic stress.

The presented study covers an overview of the manufacturing defects of wind turbine blades, in-service damages and the available inspection techniques that are used to identify defects in wind turbine blades. In this paper, the detection capabilities and performance of visual inspection, acoustic emissions, ultrasonic testing and X-ray inspection have been reviewed. The paper describes the importance of developing quality control guidelines for wind turbine manufacturing sectors based on standard inspection methods.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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