Design and Analysis of Superfinishing Method Using Electrochemical Machining for 1:100-Scale Wind Turbine Blade Mold
Increasing demand for renewable energy, such as wind energy, has challenged the manufacturing of wind turbine blades. Since they make these blades out of fiberglass, the molds used to make them have to be the exact shape and maintain a close to perfect surface texture. In the past, the molds used to manufacture turbine blades were made out of fiberglass, but recently there has been an interest in using longer-lasting aluminum molds. These molds are printed, milled into shape, and subsequently polished. Removing the scallops left behind on the aluminum mold surface left by the nose-milling process is of great interest. The research intends to develop an electrochemical machining process to remove the surface scallops instead of using less efficient conventional abrasive methods. In an electrochemical machining process, the "tool," called the cathode, does not contact the workpiece. Since there is no hard contact between the tool and the workpiece, the tool does not wear out in the PECM process and can be used indefinitely.
Throughout the investigation, three parameters were chosen and altered to determine the best combination that would give the best surface finish in the shortest time. Different surface finishes were obtained by altering the gap between the tool and workpiece, the material removal rate, and the process type, whether constant or pulsed voltage. Since a fractional factorial experiment was performed, the outcome of half of the experiments was estimated. The best combination of parameters was found with the actual and estimated results, corresponding to a constant voltage, large gap, and a large material removal rate. With the obtained parameters, a surface finish is obtained, which is accepted by the research team.
Advisor: Dr. Edward De Meter
|Work Title||Design and Analysis of Superfinishing Method Using Electrochemical Machining for 1:100-Scale Wind Turbine Blade Mold|
|License||CC BY 4.0 (Attribution)|
|Work Type||Research Paper|
|Deposited||June 27, 2022|
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