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Effects of Localized Manufacturing-Induced Defects in Wind Turbine Blades

JUAN SU, SCOTT STAPLETON, STEPHEN JOHNSON, STEPHEN NOLET, NICHOLAS ALTHOFF, JAMES SHERWOOD

Abstract


Localized manufacturing-induced defects can compromise the overall structural behavior of wind turbine blades, including compressive strength and fatigue life. While much research has been pursued on the effects of defects, there is still a need for empirical models that can assist in understanding the relationship between defect geometries and their effects on blade durability. The objective of this current research is to develop an empirical model that can be used to estimate the impact that a local high-porosity defect will have on the fatigue performance of a typical fiberglass reinforced wind turbine blade. Flat plates are manufactured using a variety of specially designed processing conditions with the intent of directing the flow to induce defect regions in composite plates that span the range from high- to low-porosity densities. The plates are cut into slices, and the slices examined using optical microscopy, SEM and CT-scanning techniques. A set of coupons is tested in flexure to assist in the design of the size of specimens to be used for fatigue testing. Future work is to conduct a fatigue test program to develop an empirical model that relates the number of cycles to failure to the state of stress and the degree and depth of porosity.


DOI
10.12783/asc33/26068

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