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Article

Erosion Mapping of Through-Thickness Toughened Powder Epoxy Gradient Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) Plates for Tidal Turbine Blades

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
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School of Engineering, Institute of Materials and Processes, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Lubricants 2021, 9(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants9030022
Received: 25 November 2020 / Revised: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
Erosion of tidal turbine blades in the marine environment is a major material challenge due to the high thrust and torsional loading at the rotating surfaces, which limits the ability to harness energy from tidal sources. Polymer–matrix composites can exhibit leading-blade edge erosion due to marine flows containing salt and solid particles of sand. Anti-erosion coatings can be used for more ductility at the blade surface, but the discontinuity between the coating and the stiffer composite can be a site of failure. Therefore, it is desirable to have a polymer matrix with a gradient of toughness, with a tougher, more ductile polymer matrix at the blade surface, transitioning gradually to the high stiffness matrix needed to provide high composite mechanical properties. In this study, multiple powder epoxy systems were investigated, and two were selected to manufacture unidirectional glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (UD-GFRP) plates with different epoxy ratios at the surface and interior plies, leading to a toughening gradient within the plate. The gradient plates were then mechanically compared to their standard counterparts. Solid particle erosion testing was carried out at various test conditions and parameters on UD-GFRP specimens in a slurry environment. The experiments performed were based on a model of the UK marine environment for a typical tidal energy farm with respect to the concentration of saltwater and the size of solid particle erodent. The morphologies of the surfaces were examined by SEM. Erosion maps were generated based on the result showing significant differences for materials of different stiffness in such conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass-fiber-reinforced polymer; powder epoxy composites; gradient toughness; mechanical testing; slurry erosion testing; SEM analysis glass-fiber-reinforced polymer; powder epoxy composites; gradient toughness; mechanical testing; slurry erosion testing; SEM analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hassan, E.; Zekos, I.; Jansson, P.; Pecur, T.; Floreani, C.; Robert, C.; Ó Brádaigh, C.M.; Stack, M.M. Erosion Mapping of Through-Thickness Toughened Powder Epoxy Gradient Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) Plates for Tidal Turbine Blades. Lubricants 2021, 9, 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants9030022

AMA Style

Hassan E, Zekos I, Jansson P, Pecur T, Floreani C, Robert C, Ó Brádaigh CM, Stack MM. Erosion Mapping of Through-Thickness Toughened Powder Epoxy Gradient Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) Plates for Tidal Turbine Blades. Lubricants. 2021; 9(3):22. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants9030022

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hassan, Emadelddin, Iasonas Zekos, Philip Jansson, Toa Pecur, Christophe Floreani, Colin Robert, Conchúr M. Ó Brádaigh, and Margaret M. Stack. 2021. "Erosion Mapping of Through-Thickness Toughened Powder Epoxy Gradient Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) Plates for Tidal Turbine Blades" Lubricants 9, no. 3: 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants9030022

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