Academic Partners

Grant Leishman

PhD Title - Study of the Chemical Degradation of Wind Turbine Blade Coatings due to Erosion

Start Date - October 2016

Degree - BEng(Hons) Chemical Engineering, MSc Sustainability Engineering

Research Bio

The degradation mechanisms of blade coatings due to the shock impact of rain droplets is not well understood. It is not known how the stresses build up in the coatings and whether they attack specific bond types, if there is an order to the attack, and which chemical bonds are most resistant to erosion. It is also not known what triggers the move from the incubation period, where no erosion occurs, to erosion damage. Understanding is also required of the strain rate loading and how it affects elastic coatings, and coatings with various degrees of viscoelasticity. In the field, erosion from rain droplet impact occurs concurrently with exposure to weathering from UV, humidity and temperature cycling. Offshore, salt may also be influencing coating degradation. Although the breakdown of coatings in weathering is widely researched for individual coating types, how the weathering influences the rain droplet erosion process at a microscopic and molecular level is not.

Additional Information - Student Member IET