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Title: Coupled-model approach for tool and flow patg optimisation of the LRTM process for small scale wind turbine blades
Author: Hutchinson, Joel Ross
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis focuses on the development of a computational model of the LR TM process. To date, no such solver exists either commercially or as an open source product. The purpose of this work was to construct a solver in order to optimise the production of a composite blade skin for a 6kW wind turbine being built as part of a larger research project. It was also used in conjunction with a technical cost model to compare the applicability of three potential blade manufacturing methods (RTM, VI and LRTM), allowing selection of the most appropriate process. A review of composite process modeling and the physical aspects of LRTM identified key areas for model consideration. Three distinct filling stages provided a basis for a coupled finite element analysis and infusion simulator, with data being interpreted and passed by a custom built Python script. LRTM specific permeability and compaction test procedures were developed, enabling fabric characterisation and the derivation of empirical material models. Empirical verification showed high levels of model agreement (>96%) based on two different metrics, and the wind turbine blade case study suggested a potential 95% reduction in fill time was achievable by careful selection of the infusion strategy. LRTM was demonstrated to be an economic option for low- 1 cost composite parts, giving high thiclmess stability and quick infusion times at low fibre volume fraction. 2
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available