Combined numerical and experimental approach for the development, testing and analysis of thick adhesive joints in large wind turbine blades

01 January 2020 → 31 December 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Classical mechanics
  • Engineering and technology
    • Construction materials
    • Wind engineering
    • Numerical modelling and design
adhesive joints wind turbine blades improved ductility and durability
Project description

Climate change is in the centre of the social and political debate nowadays, in particular with respect to the reduction of CO2 emissions. In that context, wind energy is an important source of renewable energy with a substantial increase in the coming years, also in Belgium and Switzerland. The performance of wind turbine blades is essential to provide the needed power output and guarantee a stable and long-term reliability of the wind turbines.

Since wind turbine blades are held together by adhesive joints, these form a crucial load carrying part in the blade assembly. In contrast to adhesive joints in aerospace composites, adhesive joints in wind turbine blades are very thick (5-20 mm), because they have to compensate for the large tolerances between the two halves of the blades that are bonded together. Further they have to be ductile and resist to multi-axial fatigue loading for a design life of 20 years.

This project proposes a new combined numerical and experimental approach for the materials development, testing and analysis of thick adhesive joints for large scale civil engineering structures, with the case study of wind turbine blades.