The blade root is the part of the blade which bears the highest loads. As the bending moment is highest at the point where the blade is connected to the hub, strength and stiffness are essential in this area.
In the WALiD project a new lightweight connection concept was developed based on structurally optimised architectures. An integrated approach has led to improved connection concepts through optimal utilisation of unidirectional fibre reinforcement to withstand the concentrated rotor loads.
The blade tip is the part of the blade which is furthest away from the hub. The weight of the tip therefore has a significant influence on the whole blade. A weight reduction in the blade tip leads to lower loads, especially in the root section, and has a high impact on the overall weight of the blade.
Due to severe outdoor conditions offshore blades need to be very wear resistant. A coating is therefore needed to protect the blade surface against erosion.
The coating developed in WALiD is a thermoplastic coating with a protective surface layer that has demonstrated increased durability under harsh conditions.