Potential of fibre metal laminates in root joints of wind energy turbine rotor blades
The length of rotor blades is showing continuous growth for future wind energy turbines leading to high bending moments, which must be transferred to the hub by the root section. As the growth of the root diameter is limited by factors such as transportability, motivation to improve the load carrying capacity without changing the geometry is high. Hybridisation with metals shows a possibility to intrinsically increase the bearing strength of fibre-reinforced plastics. This publication presents experimental investigations into hybrid laminates to be used in so-called T-joints for connecting rotor blades to the hub of the nacelle of a wind energy turbine. An overview is given about the bearing strength of several material combinations hybridising glass- and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (GFRP, CFRP) with aluminium, titanium and steel alloys. A GFRP-steel-hybrid can be identified as a material with a high reinforcing effect even for low amounts of steel. A hybrid T-joint demonstrator is manufactured by resin infusion and tested under static tension. In comparison with a GFRP reference, a joining strength increase of about 33% is achieved for a steel content of 3%. Further coupon level tests reveal a weak spot in the transition zone between the monolithic GFRP region and full hybrid region as the static and fatigue resistance clearly decreases in comparison with monolithic GFRP and full hybrid references.
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz -BMWK-