Sandia National Laboratories’ Infrastructure Assurance and Non-Destructive Inspection Department began as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) program to improve the airworthiness of the U.S. commercial aviation fleet, and transition from “safe-life” to “damage tolerant design.” This transition required the development of improved design, inspection, and repair processes, that have since been applied to military aircraft, spacecraft, bridges, automobiles, trains, oil and gas industry equipment, and now wind blades.
The Wind Blade Non-Destructive Inspection Center now includes wind blade inspection specimens and inspection technology specifically suited to wind blades. Real and engineered specimens include all flaws and damage types that are commonly found in wind blades in both manufacturing floor and field settings.
Drawing from experience inspecting composite aviation parts, Sandia has created a set of wind-blade-specific inspection specimens that mimic commonly seen blade flaws—allowing manufacturers to test and refine their equipment to better diagnose blade flaws.
The Wind Blade Non-Destructive Inspection Center provides the following capabilities and expertise:
- Nondestructive Inspection (NDI)
- Automated & Robotic Inspection Deployment
- Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Sensor Development
- Composite Fabrication and Structural Repair
- Structural Mechanics & Damage Tolerance Analysis
- Fatigue, Fracture & Strength Mechanical Testing
- Reliability and Probabilistic Analysis