Engineers with X-ray vision

    How do multi-scale effects influence the reliability of a wind turbine blade? Our specialists in Engineering are chasing the answer, with help from a very special piece of equipment at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

    By scanning specimens from full-scale blade components in a µ-X-ray tomography machine, LM Wind Power engineers are able to get unique insights into their inner structure. The machine visualizes material in a dynamic way, allowing the engineer to study 3D aspects at the micro as well as the macro level.

    Microscopic-level effects matter
    The advanced X-ray technology provides a level of detail which has previously been impossible to achieve for centimeter-sized specimens. According to Michael Wenani Nielsen, LM Wind Power Bondline Engineering Manager and PhD, the technology will work as a useful supplement to regular microscopic studies of components where 2D cross sections are hard to define or simply not suitable.

    "A modern wind turbine blade is typically over 50 meters long. Still, even microscopic-level effects in the composite material can influence the manufacturing process and the performance and reliability of the blade where defects develop from the micro-level,” Michael said. “With the µ-X-ray tomography scanner, we get an exceptionally detailed view and are able to see multi-scale phenomena from the specific geometry in the full-scale blade.”

    And how do these new capabilities link to sustainability? Basically, the X-ray technology paves the way for a deeper understanding which will drive the development of new designs and optimized production processes — benefitting both our company and the world by reducing the cost of energy.

    “When we are able to design and produce wind turbine blades with an even higher reliability in the materials, we reduce the risk of failure which again helps reduce insurance premiums that today present an added cost to the price of wind energy,” Michael said. “The knowledge we obtain might therefore prove to be useful for the entire industry when improving and optimizing the supply chain.”

    About the technology
    The X-ray technology has been used in the medical industry for several years, but expanded in recent years to the field of material research for quantifying material quality, micro-structure and defect development. The technology is based on detection of density contrasts in the material. As such, it is useful for identifying multi-scale phenomena like balsa wood in a fiberglass laminate, which contains fiberglass, resin (adhesive) and wood with air-filled micropores due to its biological origin.

    Michael Wenani Nielsen is one of our specialists in Composites Engineering and Technology who works with the special X-ray technology at DTU.

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    Meet your Colleagues

    More from Michael

    Find out more about what motivates Michael Wenani Nielsen to work at LM Wind Power. 

    15-01-2019 12:00:38 | linkedin

    We've installed a total of 1.7 GW of offshore wind capacity - that's equivalent to powering 28 million light bulbs! Learn more about our offshore track record: https://www.lmwindpower.com/en/products-and-services/blade-types/go-offshore-lm-wind-power
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    We've installed a total of 1.7 GW of offshore wind capacity - that's equivalent to powering 28 million light bulbs! Learn more about our #offshore track record and why #WeKnowBlades: fal.cn/rLvy
    15-01-2019 12:00:00 | instagram
    Did you know - we've installed a total of 1.7 GW of offshore wind capacity. That's equivalent to powering 28 million light bulbs! #LMplaces #lmwindpower #Offshorewind #greenbusiness #wind #windworks #windturbine #windturbines #renewables #windpower #windenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #future #sustainability
    11-01-2019 14:00:36 | linkedin

    "I admire what a rich resource we have in wind energy. I believe we can have a cleaner world by producing clean energy". Maristela Ruana da Silva is part of the Laboratory Quality team from our Suape plant in Brazil. She takes pride in ensuring that all raw materials and the calibration equipment used for the production process is in perfect condition. It helps us guarantee high quality blades for customer satisfaction. Read on to learn more about how #WeKnowBlades: https://www.lmwindpower.com/en/products-and-services/we-know-blades
    11-01-2019 14:00:33 | twitter

    "I admire what a rich resource we have in wind energy. I believe we can have a cleaner world by producing clean energy". Maristela Ruana da Silva is on the Laboratory Quality team in Suape, Brazil. Learn more about how #WeKnowBlades fal.cn/rW.w
    11-01-2019 14:00:14 | instagram
    "I admire what a rich resource we have in wind energy. I believe we can have a cleaner world by producing clean energy" - Maristela Ruana da Silva is part of our Laboratory Quality team in #Suape, Brazil. She is always looking to ensure that all raw materials and the calibration equipment used for the production process is in perfect condition. #WeKnowBlades #LMplaces #lmwindpower #Brazil #greenbusiness #wind #windworks #windturbine #windturbines #renewables #windpower #windenergy #windfarm #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #future #sustainability #engineering
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    07-01-2019 12:00:16 | twitter

    Our global presence means we can serve our customers in all established and emerging wind markets. A recent visit to our plants in India gave the executive management team a great opportunity to see how our colleagues are ready to meet the demands of future growth! #WeKnowBlades
    04-01-2019 13:09:29 | twitter

    Offshore turbines have grown 30 times in #Denmark over the past 25 years and is expected to grow even more with falling #LCOE as a result. From 0,45 MW to 13-15 MW! #windpower #renewables #renewableenergy #windworks #windturbines
    21-12-2018 10:56:30 | instagram
    As many LM Wind Power colleagues gear up for the holiday season, our very own Sustainable Santa wants to share some of our key highlights of 2018! http://www.sustainable-santa.com #CleanLM #lmbalance #WeKnowBlades #LMplaces #lmwindpower #greenjobs #Balance #greenbusiness #wind #windturbine #windturbines #renewables #windpower #windenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #sustainability #CaseForWind
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