TPI Composites has been granted a patent for devices, systems, and methods to improve paste flow during wind turbine blade manufacturing. The invention involves using barriers and vents within gaps formed between turbine blade halves and mold halves to direct adhesive paste flow along the blade span. GlobalData’s report on TPI Composites gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on TPI Composites, Turbine components 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. TPI Composites's grant share as of September 2023 was 49%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for improving paste flow in wind turbine blades

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: TPI Composites Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11745449B2) describes an assembly for turbine blades that aims to improve the bonding process. The assembly consists of two turbine blade halves, each with a shell and an interface surface. When the interface surfaces are aligned, a gap is formed between the first shell and a bond cap on the second blade half. The assembly also includes two mold halves, each with a mold surface corresponding to the respective shell. When the mold halves are aligned, a second gap is formed between them, which is in fluid communication with the first gap.

To ensure a secure bond, the assembly incorporates barriers within the gaps to seal the volume defined by them. Additionally, the second barrier includes a vent that can be selectively opened or closed. This vent is formed by a portion of one of the mold halves and a portion of the second barrier. When the mold halves are closed, a paste exits the vent, facilitating the bonding process.

The patent also mentions that the paste can be applied to the interface surfaces of the turbine blade halves. The width of both gaps is specified to be between 2 mm and 15 mm. The vent on the second barrier can be one of multiple vents, spaced at a predetermined distance from each other. The patent further suggests that multiple barriers can be uniformly spaced along the leading and trailing edges of the blade halves.

The first barrier is permanently attached to at least one of the turbine blade halves, while the second barrier is removably attached to at least one of the mold halves. The vent on the second barrier can be cylindrically shaped or asymmetrically shaped. Additionally, the vent may include an inspection window to visually confirm that the applied paste is free of voids.

Overall, this patent describes an assembly for turbine blades that incorporates barriers and vents to improve the bonding process. By sealing the gaps and allowing controlled paste flow through the vents, the assembly aims to enhance the strength and reliability of the bond between the turbine blade halves.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.