Uniform quality and guaranteed performance requires inspection. BLAEST/FORCE Technology has extensive experience with the testing of surface coatings and gel coats. This experience can give cost savings, especially as blades get larger.
A good surface and coating quality is the first step to ensure a long lifetime of a rotor blade. If the surface is to be coated, its cleanness is vital for a good end result. BLAEST/FORCE Technology can measure surface tension to ensure that there is a clean surface. When the coating is finished measurements of colour, gloss, roughness of the surface, and adhesion can provide information to document it’s quality. These are all on-site methods suitable for use in the field or in a production line and full product structures can be tested. Some of these tests may be applicable to forms as well. Problems with any of these properties will reduce quality and performance.
Durability of a rotor blade includes resistance to weathering. To ensure long lasting performance and appearance FORCE Technology provides accelerated natural weathering at an outdoor exposure site where the test objects are periodically sprayed with salt water giving a reliable accelerating factor of 5. Artificial weathering tests are also performed in the laboratory, where good correlations can be obtained using xenon light sources in standard procedures. Durability also includes such special situations as resistance to water blistering, where FORCE Technology have developed a rapid test method. Abrasion and chemical resistance can also be included if desired. All durability tests are normally carried out on smaller test panels rather than finished structures.