University of Twente Student Theses


Effects of surface treatment on co-bonded wind turbine blade spar caps

Venkataramana, Shrikanth (2021) Effects of surface treatment on co-bonded wind turbine blade spar caps.

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Embargo date:15 August 2026
Abstract:Wind turbine blades of larger lengths result in more power generated but they need to withstand the loads acting on them which is mainly carried by the spar cap. In this thesis, the effects of surface treatment are studied on the pultruded spar cap and its bond strength with the shell. The surface treatments considered are peel ply treatment, grit blasting, sanding and plasma treatment. Vinyl ester carbon fibre is selected as spar cap (substrate) and the shell is represented by polyester-glass fibre (skin). Initially, suitable settings for each treatment are determined and after each surface treatment on the substrate, they are studied for the changes in surface energy through a contact angle measuring device and surface parameters are analysed through confocal microscopy. Afterwards, the substrates undergo co-bonding under vacuum through which the spar cap and shell are bonded in a real scenario and then the bond strength between the skin and substrate is evaluated through a fracture toughness test. Following this, all obtained data is analysed and the nature of fracture in each case is studied via optical and scanning electron microscopy. Finally, relevant surface parameters are linked to fracture toughness and the nature of fracture in each case.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
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