Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Ryoichi S Amano

Committee Members

Michael J Nosonovsky, Pradeep K Rohatgi


Dicyclopentadiene, FRP, Polydicyclopentadiene, self-healing, vascular, wind


Self-healing wind turbine blades can reduce costs associated with maintenance, repair, and energy compensation. Self-healing is the ability to sustain and recover from damage autonomously. The self-healing presented in this paper uses the reaction of two agents Dicyclopentadiene, DCPD, and Grubbs’ first-generation catalyst, henceforward known as a catalyst to fuel this recovery. DCPD is housed as a liquid isolated from the catalyst until a damaging event occurs, causing the two agents to mix and solidify to form the thermoset Polydicyclopentadiene, PDCPD. We discuss the efforts made to optimize the self-healing properties of wind turbine blades and provide new systems to maximize this offset. The first method involves copper wire coated by paraffin wax embedded into a fiber-reinforced polymer, FRP, samples incorporated with catalyst. The wires were extracted from cured samples to create cavities that were then injected with the healing agent, DCPD. To evaluate the healing system’s effect in a real-life application, a prototype wind turbine was fabricated and wind tunnel testing was conducted. After 24 hours of curing time, Raman spectroscopy was performed to determine the level of the DCPD’s reaction with the catalyst to create PDCPD. The second method utilizes 3D printed templates to imprint a vascular network in a single glass fiber FRP sheet, which is infused with DCPD and later embedded into a multilayer FRP. The catalyst was incorporated into either the single layer or the multi-layer sample to promote self-healing. Using ultraviolet lighting to highlight DCPD mixed with UV fluorescent dye movement during Three-point bending flexural testing, the storage, and transport processes of the healing agent were observed. The flexural tests were performed to obtain the maximum flexural strengths of the FRP samples before and after recovery. By comparing the flexural test results before and after healing for each method, a hierarchy was created in terms of percent recovery.

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