Most wind turbine rotor blades comprise several adhesively connected sub-components typically made from glass fibre reinforced polymer composite materials. It is a well-known fact that wind turbine blades are prone to fail in their adhesive joints. However, owing to the complexity of their structural behaviour, little is known about the root causes of adhesive joint failure. This paper investigates the effects of geometrical non-linearity on energy release rates (ERRs) of transversely oriented cracks present in the adhesive joints of a wind turbine rotor blade. Utilising a computationally efficient numerical slice modelling approach, the Virtual Crack Closure Technique (VCCT) is used to compute Mode-I and Mode-II ERRs induced by bi-axial bending. Generic critical loading directions are identified; these may have far-reaching consequences for blade design, analysis and testing.
- Wind turbine blade
- Adhesive joints
- Geometric non-linearity
- Virtual crack closure technique (VCCT)
- Energy release rate