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Windtech International May June 2024 issue






New Techniques and Criteria for the Design of Structural Components

One of the issues to be solved to make upscaling of wind turbines a reality is the design of improved structural components. Since finite element computations are already in widespread use in the industry, the aim is now to find new simulation tools and improved failure criteria which could be used to design lighter but stiffer and stronger components. The application of fracture mechanics in the analysis of composite materials is a relatively new trend, which provides solutions for the former objectives. The aerospace industry has already proposed new criteria that try to improve the accuracy offered by the usual failure criteria by using fracture mechanics to analyse local phenomena such as fibre kinking and in situ effects. Other fracture mechanics related techniques offer the possibility to consider mechanical degradation caused by delamination and loss of adhesion. This article describes these new criteria and techniques. These are ready to use and will be employed regularly in the wind energy industry in the upcoming years.

By Daniel Trias, National Renewable Energies Centre (CENER), Spain

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