Date of Award
Master of Science
Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Frank E. Peters
In the rapidly expanding wind energy market, manufacturing processes of composite components must be continually improved to keep up with high demand and increasing part size. This research focuses on improving the offline production of the root section of wind turbine blades. In this research, a system is developed and tested to replace the two-part manual layup of the prefabricated root with an automated fabric winding machine. The system is designed to wind a limited number of long, stitched plies semi-helically around a male mold at a lower cost and higher quality than current processes. A prototype machine is created that pulls two types of Non-Crimp Fabric from supply rolls onto a rotating mandrel that matches the interior surface of a scaled down blade root. The prototype system proves Non-Crimp Fabric plies can be wound and a male mold can be used as a suitable replacement for a female mold by creating several successful prototype root sections. Process times and labor costs between the current manual layup and the winding method are also compared and show a significant reduction in glass layup, further proving the feasibility of the new system.
Benjamin Amborn Wollner
Wollner, Benjamin Amborn, "Development of a fabric winding system for the automated manufacture of prefabricated wind turbine blade roots" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10193.