About the research project» Development of Self-healing and Self-sensing materials for use in wind turbine Blades»
Research Line: Multifunctional materials Self-healing/self-sensing capabilities for wind blade turbines
Mentor: Prof. Alberto Jiménez Suárez
Wind power has been one of the most promising sources of long-term, clean energy due to the rising concerns over continued fossil fuel usage. The installation of wind turbines in areas that are not densely populated and at the same time have high potential for resources such as offshore, desert areas or higher altitude areas (where the wind usually goes faster), is showing a great potential. However, these are more aggressive environments where the erosion and wear of blade coatings will be much quicker and the maintenance operations will be even more difficult. All this will be detrimental to their performance and durability and increases the expected probability of failures, the downtimes associated with them, and the associated costs of repair and maintenance. Finding a way to extend the life-time of the blades is therefore a priority for the wind industry. Hence, self-healing provides a sensible solution to auto-repair from damages during use and to extend their service life. The main objective of this project is the development and optimization of multiscale composite materials with remotely triggered selfhealing and self-sensing behavior. The addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) as modifiers of polymeric blends are the approach followed to achieve these desired functional properties. The motivation for this work is to contribute to the development of new multifunctional materials that can show novel or enhanced properties for extend the lifetime of wind blades in more aggressive ambient conditions. This research is conducted at URJC.
About Luciana Sáiz
Luciana M. Sáiz was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina. She graduated in Chemistry (2006) at the University of Mar del Plata, where she also received her Ph.D. in Materials Science (2013) working on the design of materials with optical anisotropy behaviour (Institute of Materials Science and Technology, INTEMA, UNMdP/CONICET). The thesis project focuses on the development of epoxy systems modified with azobenzene chromphores with reversible induced birefringence. In 2013 she was awarded a Postdoctoral fellowship and she moved to Spain (Materials Physics Center, Polymer and Soft Matter Group) where she worked on the analysis of polymers and aminoacids by broadband dielectric spectroscopy. After one year she returned to Argentina and obtained a postdoctoral award from Bunge Born Foundation and worked on the development of materials activated by photoinduction. During 2015 she worked on a project involving the development of toughened epoxy formulations for applications in composites. This was one of the areas included in a contract signed with the National Commission of Aerospace Activities (CONAE). After that, she obtained a permanent position at INTEMA (Nanostructured Polymers Group) as staff researcher (CONICET). She supervised undergraduated students and participated in several research projects in the field of polymer materials and nanomaterials. Their main research interests are related with the synthesis and characterization of smart materials. Currently, she is working on the Development of Self-healing and Self-sensing materials for use in wind turbine Blades as a GET-COFUND Marie Curie Fellow at the Rey Juan