Sandia Wind Technologies Department materials lead, Brian Naughton, co-chaired a session with Shridhar Nath of GE Global Research on composite material applications in wind energy at the CAMX conference in Dallas, Texas, October 26–29, 2015. The papers detailed a novel composite process model tailored to the challenges of infusing large and thick composite wind blade components as well as the development of a new lower-cost method to produce carbon fiber composite spar caps using a pultrusion process. Other conference sessions featured presentations from current and former graduate student researchers funded by Sandia from Montana State University’s Composite Technologies Research Group on topics ranging from natural fiber composites and digital image correlation for enhanced composite material characterization, to modeling defects and damage progression in composites—all with potential application to improving wind energy composites. A half-day pre-conference tutorial introduced attendees to composite structures joint design technology, an area of active research for wind turbine blades as manufacturers look for solutions to the logistics challenges of transporting increasingly larger blades from factory to field.
CAMX featured hundreds of technical papers, educational sessions, and networking events covering the full lifecycle and application space of composite materials. Well attended by industry, academic, and government participants, the event facilitated cross-industry interactions among those looking for new opportunities to transfer capabilities and technologies developed for one purpose to solutions in another area.
More information on the recent conference can be found here.