Effects of different material failures and surface contact on structural response of trailing edge sections in composite wind turbine blades

Xiao Chen*, Philipp Ulrich Haselbach, Kim Branner, Steen Hjelm Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper presents a detailed numerical study on the structural response of a trailing edge segment from a composite wind turbine blade. The focus is placed on the effects of different material failures and surface contact, some of which are often not modeled in the conventional blade design, on the load-carrying capacity and the failure response of the trailing edge section subject to compressive loading. An advanced nonlinear Finite Element (FE) model capable of predicting different material failures and contact nonlinearities is used to facilitate parametric studies. Furthermore, we propose a possible method to improve the load-carrying capacity of the trailing edge section by structural reinforcement. The strengthening mechanism increases the buckling resistance of the trailing edge section almost to the level where the structure would fail due to the failure of composite materials, thereby utilizing the full strength of composites in the structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111306
JournalComposite Structures
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Contact nonlinearity
  • Failure mode
  • Foam failure
  • Reinforcement
  • Sandwich panel
  • Strengthening mechanism

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