Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The main objective of the project is the development of a rotor blade from new fibres, e.g. general purpose (GP) carbon fibre, and matching manufacturing technique in order to build large cost effective high quality rotor blades. Depending on the savings in production costs it is envisaged that the cost reduction for a blade will be up to 20%.

The following conclusions may be drawn:

1.Carbon general-purpose fibres (GP) are not cost effective to the generally applied high strength fibres (HS). Although the costs of GP fibres are less also the material properties decrease with the same amount. During the time of the project the GP fibres were only available as uni-directional or 0º fabrics.

2. The combination of carbon HS material and glass matrix material, also mentioned as hybrid material, is a promising material layout. The material properties are only slightly less compared to full carbon HS laminates and the costs are significantly lower.

3. A blade cost evaluation showed that carbon blades are for any blade length more costly compared to glass blades. Carbon blades are only applied in case the design specifications are very strict with regard to low weight and high stiffness.

4. Hybrid (combination of carbon and glass) material seems to be a cost effective alternative for carbon and glass blades. As example, changing the carbon material for glass material the costs of the rotor blade of the LW30/250 decrease with approximately 15 to 20%. The hybrid LW30/250 blade is of the same cost level as comparable glass blades, however, the weight is significantly lower and the stiffness higher.

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