Current blade manufacturing technology is facing several challenges related to manufacturing processes and materials. Since manufacturing processes are not fully automated, deviations from dimensional and form tolerances are likely to occur thus adversely affecting both final product quality and manufacturing process capacity. In addition, such uncertainties do require a more conservative design which will introduce an increase in weight and cost.

INDEOL has developed an automatized process for manufacturing shear web- or box spar-type wind turbine blades from thermoplastic material, which involves a robotic winding process for the application of thermoplastic pre-pegs.

This manufacturing process brings considerable benefits:

  • It involves an automated process, hence high quality parts may be obtained at a high production rate.
  • The pre-pegs consist of unidirectional fabric tapes that can be applied in any desired direction, thereby ensuring high accuracy in fiber positioning and cutting processes. The blades thus obtained combine high mechanical properties with light weight.
  • Compacting and consolidation of the thermoplastic laminate takes place as the tapes are applied. This both prevents defects and makes curing and post-curing operations unnecessary, thus reducing manufacturing costs.
  • Thermoplastic wind turbine blades are much easier to recycle than conventional blades.
  • No bond lines are required, thus improving surface quality and blade mechanical performance, and reducing both manufacturing cost and time.