Computational modelling of dynamic delamination in morphing composite blades and wings

A S 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.

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