New indicator for damage localization in a thick adhesive joint of a composite material used in a wind turbine blade

S. Khoshmanesh*, S. J. Watson, D. Zarouchas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In this paper, a new indicator to localize fatigue damage in a fibre glass composite structure, i.e. spar cap to shear web thick adhesive joint of a wind turbine blade, is presented. This indicator is based on the effect of damping on the phase of the mode shapes of the structure. When fatigue damage occurs, damping increases in the defective area and this leads to an increase in the local energy dissipation. This non-uniformity in the energy dissipation throughout the structure causes the structure to vibrate with mode shapes whose structural elements no longer have the same phase creating complex mode shapes. A visco-elastic finite element (FE) vibration model is developed for a thick adhesive joint of a wind turbine blade. The mass, stiffness, and damping matrix extracted from the FE model are used to determine the complex mode shapes. The results show that the damaged area is located where the spatial derivative of the phase of the components of the mode shapes is minimum. Changes in the phase of mode shapes of the structural elements are strongly dependent on the location of damage. In the locations where the strain modal energy is greater, the change in the phase is also higher.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115870
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Adhesive joint
  • Damage localization
  • Damping
  • Fatigue
  • Phase of mode shapes

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