Adaptive Re-Use of FRP Composite Structures studio workshop held at Georgia Institute of Technology in Spring 2019 for Architecture and Civil Engineering Students
From January to May 2019, Georgia Tech faculty members Tristan Al-Haddad and Russell Gentry led a workshop titled “Adaptive Re-Use of FRP Composite Structures” for students in Architecture and Civil Engineering. The students spent the first one-third of the semester developing re-use ideas for composite material wind turbine blades. They presented their design concepts to the Re-Wind team at the second annual Re-Wind meeting held at Georgia Tech in February 2019. After the visit, the class followed two threads: the design and fabrication team finalized on a design idea and developed plans for a full-scale prototype structure. The team decided to focus on a concept that would showcase large-scale fabrication and multiple connections between re-purposed wind blade parts. The materials and analysis team assessed the material properties of the Clipper C96 blade that was donated to the project by the Wind Turbine Testing Center (WTTC) in Boston, Massachusetts They went on to develop connection detail proposals and calculations to size these connections. The last third of the semester was spent designing and producing the parts and assembling the full-scale prototype. A nine meter long section of the Clipper blade was cut and fixed to a cross-laminated timber foundation. A base connection that included an external steel wrap and an internal concrete fill was designed by the team. It included four 8 mm steel plates wrapping around the perimeter of the wind blade welded to a 16 mm baseplate. Deformed bar anchors (DBAs) were welded to the baseplate to form a link between the concrete fill and steel. The team worked into this summer at the GT Digital Fabrication Laboratory (DFL) to complete and erect the prototype, and fill the end of the blade with 300 kg of flowable high performance cementitious grout. The prototype has been reviewed by two of Re-Wind’s industrial partners and will serve as the foundation for a number of re-use applications proposed by the design team. The prototype will also form the basis for papers to be presented at the American Society of Composites (ASC) in Atlanta in September 2019 and the Composites in Civil Engineering (CICE) meetings in Istanbul in July 2020.