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Nondestructive Testing of Wind Turbine Blades using Air-coupled Ultrasonics

This paper presents the design of field implementable ultrasonic system for nondestructive testing of wind turbine blades using air coupled ultrasonic transducers, which makes this a noncontact inspection. This work focuses on inspecting the trailing edge of a wind turbine blade for fiber waviness and characterizing the trailing edge bondline. Rayleigh wave was used for detection, characterization of out-of-plane waviness or marcels. Inspection and characterization of the adhesive bondline at the trailing edge was performed using air coupled transducers in through transmission mode. The current work isolates a section of the blade where manufacturing discontinuities and in-service flaws are likely to occur and this information is used to specifically to design the field setup. This also decreases the inspection time per blade. A field implementable trailing edge scanner was designed that could be mounted on the trailing edge of the blade and moved along the length of the blade for the inspection.

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