Fatigue testing of a 14.3 m composite blade embedded with artificial defects – damage growth and structural health monitoring

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Abstract

Understanding fatigue damage growth of composite wind turbine blades is an essential step towards reliable structural health monitoring (SHM) and accurate lifetime prediction. This study presents a comprehensive experimental investigation into damage growth within a full-scale composite wind turbine blade under fatigue loading. The blade has artificial defects embedded to initiate damage growth. The damages are detected and monitored using Infrared (IR) thermography, Digital Image Correlation (DIC), and Acoustic Emission (AE). Steady damage growth and imminent structural failure are identified, demonstrating the effectiveness of these techniques to detect subsurface damages. New experimental observations include cyclic buckling of a trailing edge region and tapping and rubbing between the shear web and spar cap, both damages due to adhesive joint debonds. These observations highlight the necessity and the complexity of reliable modeling of nonlinear structural behavior on a large scale in order to predict local fatigue crack growth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106189
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume140
Number of pages17
ISSN1359-835X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Wind turbine blade
  • Delamination
  • Fatigue test
  • Damage detection
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Defect

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