A laser in Iowa State University's Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory scanned layer after layer of the flexible fiberglass fabric used to make wind turbine blades.
Researchers at the Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory—a joint effort of researchers from TPI Composites, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company that operates a turbine blade factory in Newton, and Sandia National Laboratories, and located at Iowa State University—used laser readings to calculate how dozens of the layers would fit and flow over the curves of a mold used to manufacture a blade. If there was a wrinkle or wave in the fabric, any defect at all, the technology was designed to find it. The researchers’ goal is to develop new, low-cost manufacturing systems that could improve the productivity of turbine blade factories by as much as 35 percent. Read the full article at PhysOrg.com.