Reliability analysis of adhesive bonded scarf joints

A. Kimiaeifar, H. Toft, E. Lund, O.T. Thomsen, J.D. Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


A probabilistic model for the reliability analysis of adhesive bonded scarfed lap joints subjected to static loading is developed. It is representative for the main laminate in a wind turbine blade subjected to flapwise bending. The structural analysis is based on a three dimensional (3D) finite element analysis (FEA). For the reliability analysis a design equation is considered which is related to a deterministic code-based design equation where reliability is secured by partial safety factors together with characteristic values for the material properties and loads. The failure criteria are formulated using a von Mises, a modified von Mises and a maximum stress failure criterion. The reliability level is estimated for the scarfed lap joint and this is compared with the target reliability level implicitly used in the wind turbine standard IEC 61400-1. A convergence study is performed to validate the FEA model, and a sensitivity analysis on the influence of various geometrical parameters and material properties on the maximum stress is conducted. Because the yield behavior of many polymeric structural adhesives is dependent on both deviatoric and hydrostatic stress components, different ratios of the compressive to tensile adhesive yield stresses in the failure criterion are considered. It is shown that the chosen failure criterion, the scarf angle and the load are significant for the assessment of the probability of failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • scarfed joint, reliability index, probability of failure. von mises, modified von mises

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