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A METHOD FOR FABRICATING LEADING EDGE EROSION PROTECTION SHIELD FOR WIND BLADES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246326D
Publication Date: 2016-May-30
Document File: 3 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method for fabricating leading edge (LE) erosion protections shields for wind blades is proposed. The method includes bonding an erosion protective layer to the LE using a heat activated film. The bonding film has a low tack application temperature, allowing positioning of the protective layer to the blade surface. Positioning of the protective layer on the blade surface is followed by consolidation of the bonding film and the protective layer on the blade surface with the help of external pressure using, for example, a vacuum bag. Air trapped between the blade surface and the bonding film and between the bonding film and the protective layer is removed by the vacuum. Use of bonding film different and independent of the protective layer allows use of protective layer material having desired characteristics for protection against harsh environmental conditions.

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A METHOD FOR FABRICATING LEADING EDGE EROSION PROTECTION SHIELD FOR WIND BLADES

BACKGROUND

 

The present disclosure relates generally to wind blades and more particularly to a method for fabricating leading edge erosion protections shields for wind blades.

Generally, wind blades need to be refurbished for leading edge (LE) erosion every 2-5 years of operation, depending on site specific conditions such as amount of hail, sand or salt. Also, a single adverse event, such as a strong hailstorm can destroy profile shape of the wind blade, in turn adversely impacting annual energy production (AEP).  Icing of the wind blades further limits turbine availability at cold temperatures.

Conventionally, material such as erosion resistant paints or tapes are used to counter detrimental environmental factors. However, these materials need to be replaced at regular intervals causing turbine downtime and repair expenses. Further, these materials are a compromise between requirement of bond strength and protection.

It would be desirable to have an improved method for fabricating leading edge erosion protections shields for wind blades.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 depicts a method for fabricating leading edge (LE) protection shields for wind blades by bonding an erosion protection material to the LE using a heat activated film.

Figure 2 depicts a smooth blade surface achieved by using a mold which allows a recess in the blade for the LE protective layer. 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A method for fabricating leading edge (LE) erosion protections shields for wind blades is proposed. As depicted in Figure 1 the method includes bonding an erosion protective layer to the LE using a heat activated film. A precut protective layer is bonded to the blade surface with the help of the heat activated bonding film. The bonding film has a low tack application temperature, allowing positioning of the protective layer to the blade surface.

Figure 1

Positioning of the protective layer on the blade surface is followed by consolidation of the bonding film and the protective layer on the blade surface with the help of external pressure using, for example, a vacuum bag. Air trapped between the blade surface and the bonding film and between the bonding film and the protective layer is removed by the vacuum. Structure on surface of the bonding film material facilitates removal of trapped. Conventional prepreg or other heat activated bonding material, for example AF163 may be used for the bonding film. Further, as mentioned above for positioning, material used for the bonding film is required to be tack free at room temperature, for example, thermoset epoxy adhesive film material 3M AF126-2.

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