Four-Point Bending Strength Testing of Pultruded Fiberglass Composite Wind Turbine Blade Sections

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The ultimate strength of the PS Enterprises pultruded blade section was experimentally determined under four-point bending at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Thirteen 8-foot long full-scale blade segments were individually tested to determine their maximum moment carrying capability. Three airfoil-bending configurations were tested: high- and low-pressure skin buckling, and low pressureskin buckling with foam interior reinforcement. Maximum strain was recorded for each sample on the compressive and tensile surfaces of each test blade. Test data are compared to the results of three analytical buckling prediction methods. Based on deviations from the linear strain versus load curve, data indicate a post-buckling region. High-pressure side buckling occurred sooner thanlow-pressure side buckling. The buckling analyses were conservative for both configurations, but high-pressure side buckling in particular was substantially under-predicted. Both high- and low-pressure buckling configurations had very similar failure loads. These results suggests that a redundant load path may be providing strength to the section in the post-buckling region, making the onset ofpanel buckling a poor predictor of ultimate strength for the PS Enterprises pultrusion.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2001
EventAWEA WindPower 2001 Conference - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 4 Jun 20017 Jun 2001


ConferenceAWEA WindPower 2001 Conference
CityWashington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-30565


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