Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials have been used in a variety of civil and infrastructure applications since the early1980s, including in wind turbine blades. The world is now confronting the problem of how to dispose of decommissioned blades in an environmentally sustainable manner. One proposed solution is to repurpose the blades for use in new structures. One promising repurposing application is in pedestrian and cycle bridges. This paper reports on the characterization of a 13.4-m long FRP wind blade manufactured by LM Windpower (Kolding, Demark) in 1994. Two blades of this type were used as girders for a pedestrian bridge on a greenway (walking and biking trail) in Cork, Ireland. The as-received geometric, material, and structural properties of the 27 year-old blade were obtained for use in the structural design of the bridge. The material tests included physical (volume fraction and laminate architecture) and mechanical (tension and compression) tests at multiple locations. Full-scale flexural testing of a 4-m long section of the blade between 7 and 11 m from the root of the blade was performed to determine the load-deflection behavior, ultimate capacity, strain history, and failure modes when loaded to failure. Key details of the testing and the results are provided. The results of the testing revealed that the FRP material is still in excellent condition and that the blade has the strength and stiffness in flexure to serve as a girder for the bridge constructed.
|Journal||Transportation Research Record|
|Early online date||18 May 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Aug 2022|
- Innovative highway structures and appurtenances
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering