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Investigation of the effect of wrinkle features on wind turbine blade sub-structure strength

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date8 Mar 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Mar 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2019
DatePublished (current) - 15 Jun 2019


Wrinkles are known to have a strong knock-down on the mechanical performance of structures made from composite materials. Here, static tensile tests were conducted to investigate the effect of wrinkle features on the strength of a wind turbine blade sub-structure, representative of a blade root feature. A pultruded tapered insert is embedded in each sub-structure and the wrinkle is in close vicinity to the termination of the tapered insert. Each of the tested sub-structures was then numerically modelled using finite element simulations. The numerical representations of the wrinkle geometries were constructed based on measurements of the actual structures, and an automatic fitting of the four chosen wrinkle features; angle, depth, wash out, and location. There is less than 5% deviation between the simulation and experimental results for all tested sub-structures. The numerical model was able to predict when the failure mode changed from a delamination at the tapered insert to a delamination in the wrinkle area. The average wrinkle angle was found to be a better metric than the maximum wrinkle angle to characterise the severity of the wrinkles in the vicinity of a tapered insert.

    Research areas

  • Cohesive zone, Sub-structure, Tapered beam, Wrinkle defect

    Structured keywords

  • Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS



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    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Embargo ends: 8/03/20

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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