A manufacturer of aerodynamic performance enhanced wind turbines asked Bridgewood if it was feasible to mould a large single piece ABS Rotor combining both blades and shroud.

Brief

A manufacturer of aerodynamic performance enhanced wind turbines asked Bridgewood if it was feasible to mould a large single piece ABS Rotor combining both blades and shroud. Due to the operational requirements of the rotor, two key characteristics needed to be achieved:

  • Extremely even circumferential material thickness / weight distribution, beyond that conventionally achieved when thermoforming circular components, in order to minimise the need to add rotational balance weights.
  • High degree of resistance from UV light degradation due to its extreme exposure to the elements.

Solution

In order to provide the best possible UV protection, Bridgewood proposed a tri-extrusion thermoplastic from which to mould the rotor, comprising an ABS core capped on both sides with a UV resistant acrylic. Bridgewood then developed a bespoke vacuum forming process, blowing the thermoformed sheet through a circular ring to ensure even circumferential material distribution around the rotor.

Results

The resulting rotors have a high UV resistance on both faces, and the bespoke circular moulding process has ensured a consistently even circumferential thickness / weight distribution.

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