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Testing Center and Quality assurance for wind energy

As an independent and reliable development and test centre, we can provide support for manufacturers of wind turbines, component manufacturers in the development and approval processes and energy generation companies during damage analysis, product optimisation and structure monitoring. As such, we offer solutions that provide developers, designers and engineers with reliable support in ensuring product and operational safety and quality assurance. IMA Dresden comprehensively tests materials, structures, components or structures including characterisation, strength and resistance tests, examination of the operational durability and system tests.

Our material-specific experience enables us to design standards and manufacturing technologies and, through our participation in professional organisations such as the Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK), we are in constant exchange with all market participants.

Our test portfolio comprises the complete test spectrum required, from testing the basic materials for the fibre-reinforced plastic up to full-scale tests on rotor blades in original size:

  • Full Scale Test (FST) on rotor blades (static, cyclic, modal analysis)
  • Structure and component tests
  • Material testing to determine identification data (static, cyclic, dynamic)
  • Furthermore, we can provide you with additional development-related services:
  • FRP Engineering (complete solutions from a single source – from concept development to prototype testing)
  • Fibre composite technical centre (prototypes and sample production, technology development)
  • Developing test concepts
  • Finite element analysis and multiple body system simulation
  • Operating strength and resistance analysis

Our portfolio

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Measurements and Measurement Runs

Stresses in real use are recorded by measurements, test drives and continuous monitoring, depending on the application. We carry out measurements of mechanical and electrical quantities under static and dynamic load under operating conditions, install complete measuring chains including process adaptation.

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Material Testing for Plastics and Composite Materials

From the base material through the manufacturing technology to the approval of the finished product - our material tests are DAkkS and NADCAP accredited. This includes static, cyclic and dynamic tests as well as static long-term tests, including sample production.

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Materials Testing Metals

Our material specialists accompany you in the implementation of your test programs as well as standardization, approval and certification of materials or manufacturing processes. We stand by your side during the entire test procedure, from the consultation, test planning and sample production, over the test itself up to the finished test report.

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Materialography

Whether for quality assurance, damage analysis or for research and development - in our accredited materialography laboratories we take a close look at both metallic and non-metallic materials of different composition with qualitative and quantitative characterization methods. This also includes the sample preparation procedures and the analysis, evaluation and documentation of the microscopic examination results.

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Damage analysis

Determining causes and effects experimentally - we assess damage cases and thus support the cause clarification. Our experienced engineers help you to investigate undesirable damage phenomena in detail - for example, by materialography, acoustic damage detection or non-destructive testing methods.

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Non-destructive testing

We use numerous non-destructive testing methods to investigate the damage during component tests, in the investigation of damage cases, as a tool of quality control and especially for maintenance and repair. Qualified according to ISO 9712 and EN 4179 standards, we carry out testing and inspection activities for almost all sectors, including aviation.

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Simulation and Strength Assessments

As a holistic development partner, we provide reliable information about design and lifetime by determining component strengths and examining stress, strain, and stability already during construction and dimensioning process. By means of calculated assessments of strength, designs are optimized and designed to be reliable.

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Environmental Simulation and Vibration

External influences such as vibration, impact, cold, heat, moisture or water spray are simulated on vibration tables and in climatic chambers. We subject your product, for example, to vibration testing, shock testing, climatic testing, determination of Woehler-lines, pressure pulse tests, bursting pressure test, leak test, corrosion test and transport simulation.

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Materials databases

The databases of our WIAM® product line provide material information and characteristic values ​​that are used reliably for material selection, design, standardization, calculation and simulation. The data pool draws on material and fundamental experiments from the last five decades, and new materials are systematically integrated.

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Training and Seminars

Benefit from our cross-industry know-how: In training courses and seminars directly at your company or at our site, you will receive extensive specialist knowledge - from courses for non-destructive testing (ZfP / NDT) about the FKM guideline "Computational Strength Verification of Machine Components" to software user training for WIAM® fatigue RIFEST.

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Software and Software Solutions

We have solved the management of data and documents from processes in the areas of research and development, simulation and calculation, laboratory, quality management, process development and production planning - with the WIAM® database systems we offer suitable software solutions with flexible data structures, display options and evaluations.

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Material testing

We can provide you with extensive experience for the preparation, implementation and evaluation of material tests for typical materials for wind power plants, such as glass fibre reinforced plastics (GRP), carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), metals and adhesives. This service comprises not only quasi-static, cyclic and dynamic tests but also static long-term tests. Extreme temperature and climatic conditions can therefore also be implemented like media influences. Due to being awarded the flexible DAkkS accreditation for testing laboratories we can respond quickly to amended or specific customer requirements. We will be pleased to assist you with all questions relating to test selection, planning and the interpretation of the results. We critically evaluate and optimise test methods for their suitability. Extending beyond production of laminates and material testing, comprehensive experience in the field of adhesive technology, laminate calculation as well as certification and monitoring are also available.

Our company is equipped with a fibre composite technology centre, in which we bundle the manufacturing expertise and the material-specific basis knowledge. We are a competent and experienced partner and we can advise you with regard to the introduction of effective production technologies or for prototyping and the initial sample production. Material application consulting, the design of composite materials and the support for the establishment of production accompanying QM systems complete the portfolio.

We can provide a variety of procedures for the production of laminates and can therefore react flexibly to your requirements and the behaviour of the material:

  • Manual lamination process
  • Vacuum infusion procedure (RIM, VARIM)
  • Injection procedure (RTM, VARTM)
  • Press procedure
  • Winding process
  • Hardening and annealing of components and laminates

Additional information regarding materials testing.

Structures and components

Between the material and the complete blade, there is a whole series of components which, depending on the production and geometry as well as in relation to their actual location, are subject to different loads. In particular for critical rotor blade areas such as bonded seams or transitions, experimental investigations can be decisive for the development risk. Irrespective of rotor blade connections, belts, sheet segments or structural connections – our extensive expertise in component tests and the deep understanding of the specific material behaviour guarantee that you are always on the safe side.

Testing methods:

  • Mechanical testing (static and fatigue) with universal testing machines from -4.0 MN (pressure) up to +2.0 MN MN (tension) or individual test benches using a modular system
  • Testing under environmental influences (behaviour with temperature, climate, media)
  • Damage verification by means of non-destructive testing (ultrasonic testing, eddy current testing, penetration testing, endoscopy, magnetic powder testing, visual inspection, electronic knock test)
  • Damage analysis via microscope (light, grid electron, AFM), spectrometer or acoustic damage detection
  • Optical 3D deformation and strain, elongation measurement (PONTOS, ARAMIS)

Rotor blade (complete blade)

For the development-supporting evaluation of complex blade designs and constructions and, in particular, for experimental verification within the framework of approvals for rotor blades, original scale-true complete structural tests of the blade, so-called full-scale tests, are explicitly demanded. Basis for the test is the IEC 61400-23.

Cyclic rotor blade test

The special feature of our test bench is the resonance excitation system which has been designed specially for the rotor blade test. The excitation is generated via an electric motor eccentric unit. This is then mounted on the blade. The rpm of the drive unit will be selected via a frequency converter in such a way that the rotor blade including the drive unit swings with the desired amplitude. The unbalanced mass can be additionally varied within certain limits. Hydraulic actuators for the load introduction are of course also available which can be installed in a tensioning foundation below the rotor blade.

Quasi-static rotor blade test

Measurement of the load, deflection, elongation and strain at discrete positions for at least two load directions.

Engineering

We can support you in the development of new testing principles. Take advantage here of our extensive experience in the design and construction of test benches, in the calculation and simulation, especially the findings from numerous tests already executed – from basic material to large-scale components. We have especially developed the following for the full-scale test on rotor blades:

  • Load introductions in lightweight construction
  • Rotatable blade bearing as adaptable retrofit solution for existing blade test benches
  • Resonance excitation System

Measuring during Operation application

We can execute measurements for mechanical, thermal and electrical variables with static and dynamic stress under operating conditions on wind energy systems, install complete measurement chains including process adaptation, and assume the responsibility for the development and production of task-specific measurement monitoring systems and/or structure monitoring systems. Our many years of experience guarantee effective problem solutions for status, condition and load analysis. Our on-site measuring service can provide numerous possibilities: with high channel counts and sampling rates, harsh environmental conditions, telemetry systems for rotating components, autonomous measuring in regular utilisation or under test conditions – we can provide you with as much measurement data as you require, you have the choice.

In addition to executing on-site measuring, we can also provide you with tailor-made, customised complete solutions: Creating measuring concepts, FE analysis, application of sensor technology, dismantling, measurement data evaluation and derivation as well as implementation of appropriate test procedures. Take advantage of our interdisciplinary know-how.

Structure and condition monitoring

We can provide a wide range of possibilities for monitoring the systems on your wind energy plants and detect faults or errors at an early stage. Availability and reliability are always the focal point. We hereby utilise energy-autonomous systems and sensors with tried and tested and innovative sensor technology. We also ensure that the measured data can be transmitted via different transmission paths and can then be utilised in the customer’s own system.

Customer-specific and application-specific development and operation of structure and condition monitoring systems for the early detection of damage:

  • Individual for every application case from the single solution up to the serial product.
  • Measurement / monitoring for forces, elongation and strain, displacements, deformations, damage propagation, temperatures, individual statuses, positions,
  • Automated data transfer (cable based, WiFi, mobile data networks, UMTS, LTE)
  • Hardware and software for data acquisition,
  • evaluation and customer-specific visualisation including integration into the customer’s own systems (ERP, FEM) by providing appropriate interfaces

The acquisition of all relevant measurement variables via innovative sensor technology is one of our strengths. We can record: Forces, paths, temperature, pressure, position (GPS), elongation, strain, condition, etc. Our test equipment enables synchronous acquisition of large channel counts and high dynamic mapping with the highest possible resolution. The products developed at our company have been verified for your application with the help of wide ranging testing technology (strength, resistance, ambient conditions, temperature, humidity, media compatibility, vibration, shock).

Additional Information regarding Measurements and Measurement Runs.