Knit Carbon Fiber Wind Blades

MET Capstone Team #3

About the Project – Our objective is to design and manufacture a 1/50th scale model knit carbon fiber wind blade. Our team will build off of the research and work done by previous MET Capstone groups in order to develop a mold and resin infuse a knit carbon fiber wind blade.

Weekly Updates

Apr. 22nd: The specimens have been tested and the results need to be analyzed. The wind blade is in the process of being scanned and we will have results by the end of the week. We present our capstone project next week on Wednesday (5/2) at 10 am in Bennett Hall.

Apr. 15th: This week we will have the test specimens cut to size and prepare for testing next week.

Apr. 8th: We have reached out to the AMC (Advanced Manufacturing Center) on campus to have the wind blade scanned via lazer so that we can then analyze the  surface profile and compare the actual shape to the expected.

Apr. 1st: With the wind blade assembled, our next step is to develop and preform a non-destructive testing procedure to gain a better understanding of the properties of the blade. We also have our first test infusion which we could use for destructive testing.

Knit Carbon Fiber Wind Blade Being Assembled

Mar. 25th: Both halves of the wind blade have been infused, and will be assembled later this week 

Mar. 18th: We plan to infuse the other half of the wind blade and adhere the two halves together, as well as perform any other necessary post processing of the blade.

Mar. 11th: Due to spring break our team will not be meeting this week.

Mar. 4th: Our team is focusing on completing Interim Report #3, which is due Wednesday 3/7. We have successfully infused one half of the wind blade.

Feb. 25th: The goal for this week is to have a resin infused wind blade that could potentially be our final product, assuming everything goes as planned. Additionally we will be giving a presentation to our capstone class and advisers on Wednesday 2/28.

Feb. 18th: This week we will be preparing a presentation as an update for our peers. If time allows, we will be infusing a fiber glass wind blade this week, or next at the latest.

Feb. 11th: After successfully infusing a small sample with 3 layers, we plan to test the wind blade mold by infusing 9 oz fiber glass (or another light weight material) before using the knit carbon fiber to create a wind blade. Based off of our test sample we will make the final part either 2 or 3 layers think. Below     are photos taken during the infusion process.

Knit Carbon Fiber Sample Laid Up On Tabel
Vacuum Bag with Flow Media Set-up

Feb. 4th: Tomorrow (2/5) we will be performing a infusion with 1, 2 and 3 layers of knit carbon fiber. We will look to see how the resin flows through the material to better predict and prepare for when we infuse the wind blade.

Jan. 28th: We are locating and gathering materials to preform a test infusion by the end of the week or beginning of next. After the test(s) we will be a to refine our manufacturing process for the scale model wind blade.

Jan. 21st: Our group has returned from winter break, and this week we will draft and finalized a student/client contract specifying what is to be delivered by May 2018. We will also make revisions to Interim Report #2.

Dec. 10th: With finals week approaching, our group will be studying for exams rather than working on capstone. 

Dec. 3rd: After meeting with our client and a previous advisor to a wind blade thesis, we have decided on a unique manufacturing process that will incorporate an existing aluminum mold. We are in the process of completing our Interim Report #2, which will include more details and calculations than our first report.

Nov. 26th: We have reached out to additional staff and faculty members for more information that will help us move further on our project. We are currently awaiting their responses. In the mean time we will be refining our focus and research while writing Interim Report #2, which is due Dec. 6th.

Nov. 19th: Our group will have its weekly meeting, but then the project will be put on pause for a few days to enjoy our Thanksgiving break.

NOV. 12th: We are working to locate available materials and molds created from previous from projects.

NOV. 5th: We received our graded Interim Report #1 back and will be spending this week revising and adding additional information and details to it, before resubmitting it the beginning next week.

OCT. 29th: Our team is working to arrange a meeting with our sponsor and we plan to begin working in the lab in the next few weeks.

OCT. 22nd: This week’s focus is to complete and hand in Interim Report #1.

OCT. 15th: We completed all the necessary trainings and tour, and now have access to the lab at the ASCC. We hope to start working with material in the next few weeks, but will be primarily working on our first report which is due in a week.

OCT. 8th: Our team is currently working on completing the necessary trainings and tour of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine. Once we have done so we will have access to their lab facilities and can begin to explore possible-manufacturing processes to create the scale model knit carbon fiber wind blade. We are also in the initial stages of writing a first draft of our capstone report.

Team Biographies

Sulaiman Aldakhiel

My name is Sulaiman Aldakhiel. I am from Saudi Arabia. I am a senior student in Mechanical Engineering Technology at University of Maine. I started participating in Mechanical Engineering Technology program as a full-time student in fall 2014, after studying English at Intensive English Institute for a year. I am looking to receive my bachelor’s degree in May 2018. In future, seeking a full-time position as a Mechanical Engineer or relevant field where I can combine knowledge from technical coursework and interpersonal skills gained throughout employment.

Stephen Fallon

My name is Stephen Fallon. I am a senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. I have traveled to Ireland and Germany to help grow my engineering skills, now I hope to enter to defense or renewable energy field to help continue America’s success. In my free time, I like to study geopolitics as well as play sports, trap shoot, and video games.

Takunda Muzembe

My name is Takunda Muzembe. I am a senior at the University of Maine, Orono, pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. I moved from Zimbabwe in the year 2009, at the age of 15, to further my education and take advantage of the vast amount of opportunities available in the USA. In my spare time, I enjoy watching soccer, basketball and football, playing video games and learning about new gadgets in the tech world. Upon graduation in May 2018, I hope to work in the alternative energy industry, contributing my skill-set to help in the transition of making the current energy usage more efficient, allowing for a cleaner and safer world for people.

Noelle Theriault

My name is Noelle Theriault. I am a senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and an Engineering Entrepreneurial Minor. I am from southern New Hampshire where I enjoy surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. Additionally, I enjoy traveling and have been to Costa Rica, Panama, and Australia. I spend a lot of time working on and modifying my Jeep, which has developed into an interest in the automotive industry. Fueled by my love of plants, I am also interesting in finding ways in which I can apply my engineering skills to urban agriculture.


Project Sponsors –

David Erb
Senior R&D Program Manager
(207) 951-3515

Acknowledgements – 

Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC)

Point of Contact:

Noelle Theriault
Mechanical Engineering Technology
University of Maine ‘18