|dc.contributor.advisor||Chairperson, Graduate Committee: Douglas S. Cairns||en
|dc.contributor.author||Larsen, Erik Barnholt||en
|dc.description.abstract||It is desirable in the wind turbine industry to use low-cost fiberglass composite materials. However,
current manufacturing capabilities for these materials can not keep pace with the increases in size and
demands of new wind turbine designs. Process limitations in Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) have been
identified that make this otherwise popular process less attractive for wind turbine blades, especially as
the size of new blades increases. Other factors such as reliability and maintenance costs also need to '
reduce to allow for the continued competitiveness of these low cost materials. There were three main
areas of research addressed in this work which were intended to address these needs.
The first was “pressure bag molding”, a variation of RTM which was designed to remedy some of the
limitations inherent with RTM. Critical manufacturing process parameters were identified and testing
was conducted to compare these parameters for pressure bag molding to those of RTM. Mechanical
testing was conducted to compare products of RTM to products of pressure bag molding.
The second area of research was a new non-destructive evaluation method for fiberglass materials. This
method involves the transmittance of infrared light through a laminate. This optical evaluation method
is described in detail. Several exploratory tests were conducted to gain an understanding of the
behavior of this method of evaluation.
Then, a damage accumulation test was designed to compare damage accumulation properties of
products of RTM to those of pressure bag molding.
The third research focus was the development of a numerical progressive damage model. Ansys was
used to model the complex damage behavior of the layered, angled laminates that were chosen for the
damage behavior comparison discussed above.
The process parameter tests showed superior performance for pressure bag molding. Mechanical
testing of the products showed similar performance for pressure bag molding products, except for
slightly reduced performance in the compressive strength test, which was discussed. The progressive
damage model seemed to provide reasonable results. However, it was found (and discussed) that the
resolution in the mechanical damage accumulation measurement was not adequate to facilitate
reasonable comparison to the Ansys model.||en
|dc.publisher||Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Engineering||en
|dc.title||Pressure bag molding : manufacturing, mechanical testing, non-destructive evaluation, and analysis||en
|dc.rights.holder||Copyright 2004 by Erik Barnholt Larsen||en
|thesis.degree.department||Mechanical & Industrial Engineering.||en