A computational framework for coating fatigue analysis of wind turbine blades due to rain erosion

Weifei Hu*, Weiyi Chen, Xiaobo Wang, Zhiyu Jiang, Yeqing Wang, Amrit Shankar Verma, Julie J.E. Teuwen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


The rain-induced fatigue damage in the wind turbine blade coating has attracted increasing attention owing to significant repair and maintenance costs. The present paper develops an improved computational framework for analyzing the wind turbine blade coating fatigue induced by rain erosion. The paper first presents an extended stochastic rain field simulation model that considers different raindrop shapes (spherical, flat, and spindle), raindrop sizes, impact angles, and impact speeds. The influence of these raindrop characteristics on the impact stress of the blade coating is investigated by a smoothed particle hydrodynamics approach. To address the expensive computational time, a stress interpolation method is proposed to calculate the impact stress of all raindrops in a random rain event. Furthermore, coating fatigue analysis is performed by including the fatigue crack initiation in the incubation period and the fatigue crack propagation in the mass-loss-rate increasing period due to raindrop impact. Finally, the proposed computational framework is verified by comparing the estimated fatigue life with those obtained in literature. The results from the study show that by incorporating the statistics of rainfall data, the proposed framework could be used to calculate the expected fatigue life of the blade coating due to rain erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-250
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Crack propagation
  • Fatigue analysis
  • Rain erosion
  • Raindrop impact
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
  • Wind turbine blade


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