Description: Wind turbine blades are often fabricated with composite materials. These composite blades are frequently attached to a metallic structure with an adhesive bond. For the baseline composite-to-steel joint considered in this study, failure typically occurs when the adhesive debonds from the steel adherend. Previous efforts established that the adhesive peel stresses strongly influence the strength of these joints for both single-cycle and fatigue loading. This study focused on reducing the adhesive peel stresses present in these joints by tapering the steel adherends. Several different tapers were evaluated using finite element analysis before arriving at a final design. To confirm that the selected taper was an improvement to the existing design, the baseline joint and the modified joint were tested in both compression and tension. In these axial tests, the compressive strengths of the joints with tapered adherends were greater than those of the baseline joints for both single-cycle and low-cycle fatigue. In addition, only a minor reduction in tensile strength was observed for the joints with tapered adherends when compared to the baseline joints. Thus, the modification would be expected to enhance the overall performance of this joint.
Date: September 9, 1999
Creator: Guess, Tommy R. & Metzinger, Kurt E.
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