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Self-Repairing Nanotechnology for Composite Materials

Composite wind turbine blades are subjected to cyclic loadings, which cause micro and nanoscale cracks and lead to fatigue and failure in a shorter service time. The concept of self-healing technology can be introduced into composite blade manufacturing to increase the lifetime of the blades without human involvement. Nanotechnology is a developing field with tremendous potential for applications in the aerospace and renewable energy industries. The idea of sealing the crack openings in a composite panel is a novel process. Self-healing is inspired by the biological systems where damage triggers a healing response. When a crack propagates through the matrix it breaks the microcapsules with DCPD, and graphene is released into the crack where it mixes with the catalyst and heals the crack instantly. The graphene nanoflakes flow into the crack front and help seal the crack. This process can be used to increase the strength of the composite locally where maximum stress is applied.

BENEFITS:
  • Nanotechnology based self-healing process will potentially increase the lifetime and weight capacity of composite wind turbine blades for higher and longer efficiency
  • Increase the strength of the repaired panel
  • Enhance the lifetime of the composite blades
  • Eliminate maintenance and other costs
  • Reduce/stop the rate of crack propagation


APPLICATIONS:
Aircraft, wind turbine, automobile and sporting industry

Additional Details

Owner

Wichita State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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