Micromechanisms of leading edge erosion of wind turbine blades: X‐ray tomography analysis and computational studies

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Micromechanisms of leading edge erosion of wind turbine blades are studied with the use of X‐ray tomography and computational micromechanics simulations. Computational unit cell micromechanical models of the coatings taking into account their microscale and nanoscale structures have been developed and compared with microscopy studies. It was observed that the heterogeneities, particles, and voids in the protective coatings have critical effect on the crack initiation in the coatings under multiple liquid impact. The damage criterion for the formation of initial defects in the top coating is determined, and it is maximum principal stress criterion. Porosity or stiff particles in the coatings change the damage initiation sites, moving it from the contact surface to the pores or particles closest to the surface. Increasing the thickness of the polymer coatings allows reducing the stress amplitude, thus delaying the damage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)547-562
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Coatings
  • Leading edge erosio
  • Modeling
  • Wind energy

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