We base our blade material technology on stable, well-tested materials, providing the best possible balance between price and performance. Via smart engineering, we ”stretch” what the materials are capable of and continually expand the envelope of what can be achieved.
We successfully apply composite resins to our products, while respecting the required mechanical properties for high performing wind turbine blades and safe working conditions. We also map the properties of the different applied materials and understand how the different elements in our composite material work together and how blades perform under real life conditions.
Known for their reliability, the material technology in our blades holds up against degradation by chemicals and water. With a proven track record of more than 195,000 blades installed since 1978, we know our blades will perform under varying conditions of wind, temperature and humidity. We deliberately pull blades to their breaking point to measure how and when they break, and we continuously improve our products with the latest material innovations.
Decades of glass fiber experience
LM Wind Power began working with glass fiber and polyester in 1952 – and with wind turbine blades in 1978.
The glass fiber determines the primary strength of the blade - not the choice of resin. Key design properties for the strength of a wind turbine blade are weight, length, root moment and 'tip to tower' clearance. These properties are controlled by the fiber reinforcement of the blade, the elasticity of the resin, pre-bending of the blade and weight of the material and how they work together. Glass fiber is a strong, versatile material, and it is important that we develop these properties still further. This boosts the quality of the blades we produce and also keeps costs down.
Shorter production time
By combining resin optimization with vacuum infusion, we create a very strong, uniform laminate with no air bubbles and rapid hardening, while reducing production time by several hours.
Reliability down to the tiniest detail
Knowing and understanding materials and how they interact is crucial for finding the perfect balance between performance, reliability and cost.
Different combinations of glass fiber and resin, under different process conditions, result in a wide range of properties and strengths. Combining testing and examination enables us to map these in great detail so that we can adjust the properties of each laminate to any specific requirement, while at the same time eliminating any potential weaknesses.
Finding the breaking point
Glued joints and interfaces between laminates and core material have a critical influence on the overall structural strength of a wind turbine.
LM Wind Power worked with the Risø National Laboratory in Denmark to develop a method for testing mechanical breaking strength. This introduces different loadings using force moments, which makes it possible to apply well-defined loads in several different axes at once. These correspond to the forces that act on the blade while in real-life operation. We carry out these test procedures in our own specially-developed, mixed-mode test machine.
One team, one process, one blade.
When we manufacture blades, we work as one team. Irrespective of where our blades are produced, the philosophy, process and quality remain the same.
Performance and reliability through rigorous testing.
We are the only wind turbine blade manufacturer to have our very own wind tunnel and in-house testing facilities for full scale blade tests.
Everything we do is by design.
LM Wind Power has perfected the art of blade design over the past three decades. While the digital age has changed the way we generate our designs, the balance between key properties and fundamental blade concepts continue to form the basis of our designs.