Experimental investigation on structural collapse of a large composite wind turbine blade under combined bending and torsion

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Abstract

This study presents a comprehensive investigation on structural collapse of a 47 m composite blade under combined bending and torsion in a full-scale static load test. The primary focus is placed on root causes and failure mechanism of the blade collapse. The investigation consists of three parts. First, video records of the blade collapse are examined on a frame-by-frame basis. Direct evidence is presented on how the blade collapses in progressive chain events. Second, the detailed post-collapse investigation is conducted both in-situ and in laboratory. The critical failure modes and the associated stress/strain state once experienced by the blade are indentified. Third, strain measurements are analyzed to provide quantitative evidence of the process leading to the blade collapse and consequently confirm the findings of this study. It is found that longitudinal compressive crushing failure and the following delamination of the spar cap, which are driven by local buckling, are the root causes of the blade collapse. The constraint of the loading saddle and local reinforcement of the blade section also contributes to the blade collapse. Torsion loads, although exhibiting no significant effect on the blade strength, are found to affect post-collapse characteristics of the blade.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComposite Structures
Volume160
Pages (from-to)435-445
Number of pages11
ISSN0263-8223
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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