Computational modelling of dynamic delamination in morphing composite blades and wings


  • F Fallah
  • M Ghajari
  • Y Safa



Morphing blades have been promising in lifting restrictions on rated capacity of wind turbines and improving lift-to-drag ratio for aircraft wings at higher operational angles of attack. The present study focuses on one aspect of the response of morphing blades viz. dynamic delamination.  

A numerical study of delamination in morphing composite blades is conducted. Both components i.e. the composite part and the stiffener are studied. The eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and nonlocal continuum mechanics (peridynamics) have both been used to study fracture in the isotropic stiffener used in conjunction with the blade. As for the composite morphing blade, cohesive elements are used to represent the interlaminar weak zone and delamination has been studied under dynamic pulse loads. Intraply damage is studied using the nonlocal model as the peridynamic model is capable of addressing the problem adequately for the necessary level of sophistication.

The differences and similarities between delamination patterns for impulsive, dynamic, and quasi-static loadings are appreciated and in each case detailed analyses of delamination patterns are presented. The dependence of delamination pattern on loading regime is established, however; further parametric studies are not included as they lie beyond the scope of the study. Through the use of fracture energy alone the nonlocal model is capable of capturing intra- and interlaminar fractures. The proposed modelling scheme can thus have a major impact in design applications where dynamic pulse and impact loads of all natures (accidental, extreme, service, etc.) are to be considered and may therefore be utilised in design of lightweight morphing blades and wings where delamination failure mode is an issue.


Quarton, D. C. "The evolution of wind turbine design analysis—a twenty year progress review." Wind Energy: An International Journal for Progress and Applications in Wind Power Conversion Technology 1.S1 (1998): 5-24.<5::aid-we1>;2-9

Rubiella, Clemence, Cyrus A. Hessabi, and Arash Soleiman Fallah. "State of the art in fatigue modelling of composite wind turbine blades." International Journal of Fatigue 117 (2018): 230-245.

Wlezien, R., et al. "The aircraft morphing program." 39th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference and Exhibit. 1998.

Weisshaar, Terrence A., and R. J. Ryan. "Control of aeroelastic instabilities through stiffness cross-coupling." Journal of Aircraft 23.2 (1986): 148-155.

Jonkman, Jason, et al. "Definition of a 5-MW reference wind turbine for offshore system development." National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Technical Report No. NREL/TP-500-38060 (2009).

Baroudi, Jamal A., Venkata Dinavahi, and Andrew M. Knight. "A review of power converter topologies for wind generators." Renewable energy 32.14 (2007): 2369-2385.

Herbert, GM Joselin, et al. "A review of wind energy technologies." Renewable and sustainable energy Reviews11.6 (2007): 1117-1145.

MacPhee, David William. Flexible Blade Design for Wind Energy Conversion Devices. University of California, San Diego, 2014.

Vocke III, Robert D., et al. "One dimensional morphing structures for advanced aircraft." Recent Advances in Aircraft Technology. InTech, 2012.

Barbarino, Silvestro, et al. "A review of morphing aircraft." Journal of intelligent material systems and structures 22.9 (2011): 823-877.

Gomez, Juan Carlos, and Ephrahim Garcia. "Morphing unmanned aerial vehicles." Smart Materials and Structures20.10 (2011): 103001.

Herencia, J., Paul Weaver, and Mike Friswell. "Morphing wing design via aeroelastic tailoring." 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference. 2007.

MacPhee, David, and Asfaw Beyene. "Fluid‐structure interaction of a morphing symmetrical wind turbine blade subjected to variable load." International Journal of Energy Research 37.1 (2013): 69-79.

Fallah, A. S., et al. "Response of armour steel plates to localised air blast load: a dimensional analysis." International Journal of Multiphysics 11.4 (2017): 387-411.

Wang, Zhenyu, et al. "A novel efficient method to evaluate the dynamic response of laminated plates subjected to underwater shock." Journal of Sound and Vibration 332.21 (2013): 5618-5634.

Tsai, J. L., C. Guo, and C. T. Sun. "Dynamic delamination fracture toughness in unidirectional polymeric composites." Composites Science and Technology 61.1 (2001): 87-94.

Iannucci, L. "Dynamic delamination modelling using interface elements." Computers & Structures 84.15-16 (2006): 1029-1048.

Grady, Joseph E., and Chang Tsan Sun. "Dynamic delamination crack propagation in a graphite/epoxy laminate." Composite Materials: Fatigue and Fracture. ASTM International, 1986.

Micallef, Karl, et al. "A study of early-time response in dynamically loaded visco-elastic composites." Composite Structures 94.4 (2012): 1366-1378.

Fallah, A. Soleiman, RM Mohamed Ali, and L. A. Louca. "Analytical–numerical study of interfacial stresses in plated beams subjected to pulse loading." Engineering Structures30.3 (2008): 856-869.

Utomo, Heru, et al. "High speed fracture phenomena in Dyneema composite." Key Engineering Materials. Vol. 353. Trans Tech Publications, 2007.

Fallah, A. Soleiman, et al. "Dynamic response of Dyneema® HB26 plates to localised blast loading." International Journal of Impact Engineering 73 (2014): 91-100.

Espinosa, H. D., S. Dwivedi, and H-C. Lu. "Modeling impact induced delamination of woven fiber reinforced composites with contact/cohesive laws." Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 183.3-4 (2000): 259-290.

Zou, Z., S. R. Reid, and S. Li. "A continuum damage model for delaminations in laminated composites." Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 51.2 (2003): 333-356.

Reddy, J. N., and C. F. Liu. "A higher-order shear deformation theory of laminated elastic shells." International Journal of Engineering Science 23.3 (1985): 319-330.

Ray, M. C. "Zeroth-order shear deformation theory for laminated composite plates." Journal of applied mechanics70.3 (2003): 374-380.

Fallah, A. Soleiman, and L. A. Louca. "Pressure-impulse diagrams for elastic-plastic-hardening and softening single-degree-of-freedom models subjected to blast loading." International Journal of Impact Engineering 34.4 (2007): 823-842.

Fallah, A. S., E. Nwankwo, and L. A. Louca. "Pressure-impulse diagrams for blast loaded continuous beams based on dimensional analysis." Journal of Applied Mechanics 80.5 (2013): 051011.

Langdon, G. S., and G. K. Schleyer. "Inelastic deformation and failure of profiled stainless steel blast wall panels. Part II: analytical modelling considerations." International Journal of Impact Engineering 31.4 (2005): 371-399.

Huebsch, W. W., et al. "Fundamentals of fluid mechanics." John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey (2009).

Sukumar, Natarajan, et al. "Extended finite element method for three‐dimensional crack modelling." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 48.11 (2000): 1549-1570.<1549::aid-nme955>;2-a

Stolarska, M., et al. "Modelling crack growth by level sets in the extended finite element method." International journal for numerical methods in Engineering 51.8 (2001): 943-960.

Sukumar, N., and J-H. Prévost. "Modeling quasi-static crack growth with the extended finite element method Part I: Computer implementation." International journal of solids and structures 40.26 (2003): 7513-7537.

Bordas, Stéphane, et al. "An extended finite element library." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering71.6 (2007): 703-732.

Silling, Stewart A., and R. B. Lehoucq. "Peridynamic theory of solid mechanics." Advances in applied mechanics. Vol. 44. Elsevier, 2010. 73-168.

Madenci, Erdogan, and Erkan Oterkus. Peridynamic theory and its applications. Vol. 17. New York: Springer, 2014.

Kilic, B., A. Agwai, and E. Madenci. "Peridynamic theory for progressive damage prediction in center-cracked composite laminates." Composite Structures 90.2 (2009): 141-151.

Askari, E., et al. "Peridynamics for multiscale materials modeling." Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Vol. 125. No. 1. IOP Publishing, 2008.

( (accessed on 01/08/2018)

Documentation, ABAQUS "Dassault Systèmes." Providence, RI, USA (2018).

Rice, James R. "A path independent integral and the approximate analysis of strain concentration by notches and cracks." Journal of applied mechanics 35.2 (1968): 379-386.

Sanders, J. Lyell. "On the Griffith-Irwin fracture theory." Journal of Applied Mechanics 27.2 (1960): 352-353.

Tada, Hiroshi, Paul C. Paris, and George R. Irwin. "The stress analysis of cracks." Handbook, Del Research Corporation (1973).

Fries, Thomas‐Peter. "Overview and comparison of different variants of the XFEM." PAMM 14.1 (2014): 27-30.

Motamedi, D., and S. Mohammadi. "Fracture analysis of composites by time independent moving-crack orthotropic XFEM." International Journal of Mechanical Sciences 54.1 (2012): 20-37.

Gurtin, Morton E. "Thermodynamics and the Griffith criterion for brittle fracture." International Journal of Solids and Structures 15.7 (1979): 553-560.

Gurtin, Morton E. "Thermodynamics and the cohesive zone in fracture." Zeitschrift für angewandte Mathematik und Physik ZAMP 30.6 (1979): 991-1003.

Silling, Stewart A. "Reformulation of elasticity theory for discontinuities and long-range forces." Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 48.1 (2000): 175-209.

Ghajari, M., L. Iannucci, and P. Curtis. "A peridynamic material model for the analysis of dynamic crack propagation in orthotropic media." Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 276 (2014): 431-452.

Silling, Stewart A., and Ebrahim Askari. "A meshfree method based on the peridynamic model of solid mechanics." Computers & structures 83.17-18 (2005): 1526-1535.

Jones, Robert M. Mechanics of composite materials. CRC press, 2018.

Johnson, H. E., et al. "Modelling impact damage in marine composite panels." International Journal of Impact Engineering 36.1 (2009): 25-39.

Iannucci, L., and J. Ankersen. "An energy based damage model for thin laminated composites." Composites Science and Technology 66.7-8 (2006): 934-951.

Riks, E. "An incremental approach to the solution of snapping and buckling problems." International Journal of Solids and Structures 15.7 (1979): 529-551.

Crisfield, MiA. "A fast incremental/iterative solution procedure that handles “snap-through”." Computational Methods in Nonlinear Structural and Solid Mechanics. 1981. 55-62.

Geubelle, Philippe H., and Jeffrey S. Baylor. "Impact-induced delamination of composites: a 2D simulation." Composites Part B: Engineering 29.5 (1998): 589-602.

Toolabi, M., et al. "Dynamic analysis of a viscoelastic orthotropic cracked body using the extended finite element method." Engineering Fracture Mechanics 109 (2013): 17-32.

Bazilevs, Y., et al. "3D simulation of wind turbine rotors at full scale. Part II: Fluid–structure interaction modeling with composite blades." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids 65.1‐3 (2011): 236-253.

Cremonesi, Massimiliano, A. Frangi, and Umberto Perego. "A Lagrangian finite element approach for the analysis of fluid–structure interaction problems." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 84.5 (2010): 610-630.

Richter, Th, and Th Wick. "Finite elements for fluid–structure interaction in ALE and fully Eulerian coordinates." Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 199.41-44 (2010): 2633-2642.



How to Cite

Fallah, F., Ghajari, M. and Safa, Y. (2019) “Computational modelling of dynamic delamination in morphing composite blades and wings”, The International Journal of Multiphysics, 13(4), pp. 393-430. doi: 10.21152/1750-9548.13.4.393.