Structural testing and numerical simulation of a 34 m composite wind turbine blade

F. M. Jensen, B. G. Falzon, J. Ankersen, H. Stang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Citations (Scopus)


A full-scale 34 m composite wind turbine blade was tested to failure under flap-wise loading. Local displacement measurement equipment was developed and displacements were recorded throughout the loading history.

Ovalization of the load carrying box girder was measured in the full-scale test and simulated in non-linear FE-calculations. The nonlinear Brazier effect is characterized by a crushing pressure which causes the ovalization. To capture this effect, non-linear FE-analyses at different scales were employed. A global non-linear FE-model of the entire blade was prepared and the boundaries to a more detailed sub-model were extracted. The FE-model was calibrated based on full-scale test measurements.

Local displacement measurements helped identify the location of failure initiation which lead to catastrophic failure. Comparisons between measurements and FE-simulations showed that delamination of the outer skin was the initial failure mechanism followed by delamnination buckling which then led to collapse. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalComposite Structures
Issue number1-2
Early online date12 Jul 2006
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Event15th International Conference on Composite Materials - Durban, South Africa
Duration: 27 Jun 200502 Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ceramics and Composites


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