Delamination-Debond Behaviour of Composite T-Joints in Wind Turbine Blades

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Gulasik H., ÇÖKER D.

5th Science of Making Torque from Wind Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 18 - 20 June 2014, vol.524 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 524
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1742-6596/524/1/012043
  • City: Copenhagen
  • Country: Denmark
  • Keywords: Composite wind turbine blade, T-joint (T-section), Delamination/Debond, Cohesive Zone Method (CZM), PIECE SPECIMENS, FRACTURE, FAILURE, SOLIDS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Wind turbine industry utilizes composite materials in turbine blade structural designs because of their high strength/stiffness to weight ratio. T-joint is one of the design configurations of composite wind turbine blades. T-joints consist of a skin panel and a stiffener co-bonded or co-cured together with a filler material between them. T-joints are prone to delaminations between skin/stiffener plies and debonds between skin-stiffener-filler interfaces. In this study, delamination/debond behavior of a co-bonded composite T-joint is investigated under 0 degrees pull load condition by 2D finite element method. Using Abaqus (R) commercial FE software, zero-thickness cohesive elements are used to simulate delamination/debond in ply interfaces and bonding lines. Pulling load at 0 degrees is applied and load-displacement behavior and failure scenario are observed. The failure sequence consists of debonding of filler/stringer interface during one load drop followed by a second drop in which the 2nd filler/stringer debonds, filler/skin debonding and skin delamination leading to total loss of load carrying capacity. This type of failure initiation has been observed widely in the literature. When the debond strength is increased 30%, failure pattern is found to change in addition to increasing the load capacity by 200% before total loss of loading carrying capacity occurs. Failure initiation and propagation behavior, initial and max failure loads and stress fields are affected by the property change. In all cases mixed-mode crack tip loading is observed in the failure initiation and propagation stages. In this paper, the detailed delamination/debonding history in T-joints is predicted with cohesive elements for the first time.