Material research: Multi-scale modelling of fatigue of wind turbine rotor blade composites

Project summary

In this research, extensive fatigue tests were performed on single glass fibres and composite coupons. Comparison of the test results shows that there is a significant difference between the fibre and composite fatigue behaviour. In order to clarify this difference, a multi-scale micro-mechanical model was developed. This model predicts fatigue properties of composite coupons based on results from experiments on isolated fibres and matrix material. The model predicts the behaviour of small composite samples. The difference between theory and practice is due to exclusion of some of the failure modes observed in a realistic laminate, such as fibre-matrix-debonding and delamination. Nevertheless, stiffness degradation is well predicted.

Results

The comparison between the fatigue life predictions and experimental observations of unidirectional GFRP composite coupons under tension-tension fatigue loads is shown in the graph below.

The comparison of the predicted and experimental normalized axial stiffness degradation of the unidirectional GFRP composite coupons under tension-tension fatigue loads is shown in the graph below.

Organisation

Principal researcher: Cheng Qian
Period: March 2008 - April 2013
Project founded by: INNWIND
Supervision: Tim Westphal, Dr. Rogier Nijssen
Contact info: info@wmc.eu

Publications

1. C. Qian, Multi-scale modelling of fatigue of wind turbine rotor blade composites, PhD dissertation, Delft University of Technology, 2013

2. C. Qian, T. Westphal, C. Kassapoglou, R. P. L. Nijssen, Development of a multi-fibre unit cell for use in modelling of fatigue of unidirectional composites, Composite Structures, 2013, 99:288-295 (link to article)

3. C. Qian, T. Westphal, and R. P. L. Nijssen, Micro-mechanical fatigue modelling of unidirectional glass fibre reinforced polymer composites, Computational Materials Science, 2013, 69:62-72 (link to article)

Contact

For inquiries please contact:

Knowledge Centre WMC
Kluisgat 5
1771 MV Wieringerwerf
the Netherlands
phone +31(0)227-50 49 49
info@wmc.eu