Fraunhofer to test blade coatings

The researchers plan to gauge the impact of factors such as rain on a blade's coating

The researchers plan to gauge the impact of factors such as rain on a blade's coating

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer IWES are developing a new test bench that will be able to gauge how a rotor blade’s coating will stand up to long-term environmental erosion.

The “climatised” rig, which will have rotating arms able to trial blades at tip speeds of up to 160 metres per second, will be used to evaluate the impact rain, hail, sand, seawater and dirt have on the surface of blades, particularly the leading edge.

Environmental conditions combined with temperature changes and UV radiation can lead to a blade’s aerodynamics being undermined by material abrasion and crack formation, lowering efficiency and increasing operation noise.

“The test conditions [on the rig] are variable – rotational speeds and climatic conditions can be adjusted individually according to the respective real rotor blade operating conditions,” Log in to read complete article.

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