U.S. capacity for windblade research and development will take a giant leap forward this year with the construction of an Advanced Wind Blade Prototyping Facility at the University of Maine’s AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center. Scheduled to open in December 2009, this new facility is unique in its capability for the design, manufacturing, and testing of large blades up to 70m.
The new facility will expand the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center’s laboratories to 70,000 ft2. Full-scale blade manufacturing is supported by the center’s established expertise in the following areas: composites manufacturing, including VARTM, prepreg, fiber/tape placement; composites design, including FEA modeling, probabilistic mechanics and laminate analysis; joint design supported by expertise in fracture mechanics analysis; and material evaluation through static, fatigue, durability, impact, and non-destructive evaluation.
With 140 full and part-time faculty, scientists, and engineers, the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center has 15 years of experience in large structures testing. It is well-known throughout the industry for its innovative product development and has won top ACMA awards for excellence in composites design and innovation in 2008 and 2009, as well as other research honors including SAMPE’s best paper award in 2008. To learn more visit www.aewc.umaine.edu.