The research activities of this section deal with light and strong metals, steels as well as nanometals. The objective is to perform materials science and development on a high international level with particular focus on materials and components for wind energy purposes.
The research activities cover:
Processing of metals and alloys
Structural and mechanical characterisation and modelling
Structure, properties and performance
In connection with wind turbines, we characterise the structure of mechanical components before they enter into operation and during service; we quantify damage and characterise nanostructures and mechanical properties of e.g. steel wires for possible reinforcement of polymer composites for blades.
Focal research areas include plastic deformation and thermal treatment of light and strong metals and alloys, nanomaterials and dual phase alloys with high strength and hard nanosurfaces including graded structures for good wear and fatigue resistance.
Advanced characterisation techniques include non-destructive 3D x-ray measurements of internal structures and stresses using international synchrotron facilities in Europe, Japan and USA as well as advanced electron microscopy with high spatial resolution, crystallographic orientation measurements, local chemical analysis and in-situ mechanical testing of miniature samples (while mapping the microstructural evolution).
A common line of these projects is a fine-scaled microstructure in the materials (down to the nanometer range) and a similar fine scale of defects developing during operation which shall be characterised as a basis for modelling and optimisation.
New research areas with the objective of reducing cost and improving reliability and lifetime of metallic components in wind turbines will include wear and fatigue resistance steels, processing of surfaces by mechanical and chemical treatments, non-destructive 3D characterisation by x-ray tomography and quantification of residual stresses in surfaces and welds.