A staged approach to erosion analysis of wind turbine blade coatings

David Nash, Grant Leishman, Cameron MacKie, Kirsten Dyer, Liu Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The current wind turbine leading-edge erosion research focuses on the end of the incubation period and breakthrough when analysing the erosion mechanism. This work presented here shows the benefits of splitting and describing leading-edge erosion progression into discrete stages. The five identified stages are: (1) an undamaged, as-new, sample; (2) between the undamaged sample and end of incubation; (3) the end of incubation period; (4) between the end of incubation and breakthrough, and (5) breakthrough. Mass loss, microscopy and X-ray computed tomography were investigated at each of the five stages. From this analysis, it was observed that notable changes were detected at Stages 2 and 4, which are not usually considered separately. The staged approach to rain erosion testing offers a more thorough understanding of how the coating system changes and ultimately fails due to rain droplet impacts. It is observed that during microscopy and X-ray computed tomography, changes unobservable to the naked eye can be tracked using the staged approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number681
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2021


  • wind energy
  • blades
  • leading-edge erosion
  • coatings
  • microscopy
  • X-ray computed tomography
  • staged analysis


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