Improved Joints Based on 3D Fiber Architecture Preforms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85567
Agency Tracking Number: 90616
Amount: $99,825.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: 20 a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000350
Small Business Information
109 MacKenan Drive, Cary, NC, 27511
DUNS: 030936335
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Keith Sharp
 (919) 481-2500
Business Contact
 Charles Gaylor
Title: Mr.
Phone: (919) 481-2500
Research Institution
Wind blades are a significant part of the installation and operating costs of wind turbines used for electricity generation. In the manufacture of wind blades, several composite elements must be joined; the joints between these elements present one of the most difficult aspects of their construction. Current practices are hand-labor intensive and result in thick bond lines. In turn, these practices lead to manufacturing defects and too often to premature failure of the wind blades. Pi joints, which are shaped like the Greek letter p and based on three-dimensional (3-D) fiber architectures, have been shown to increase joint strength in carbon composite aircraft structures and in glass composite naval structures by more than two fold. This project will develop technology for replacing current structures with Pi and ¿Y¿ joints based on 3-D fiber architectures. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee:The technology not only would lead to stronger wind turbine joints but also to a more robust, less costly manufacturing process. Installation costs of the turbines would be reduced by the lower cost wind blades, and operating costs would be reduced by the lower number of wind blade failures

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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