Experimental estimation of the residual fatigue life of in-service wind turbine bolts
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DepartmentIngeniería Mecánica y Diseño Industrial
SourceEngineering Failure Analysis, Vol. 141
This study presents an experimental methodology aimed at estimating the residual fatigue life of in-service wind turbine bolts. The main objective is to assess the residual life of the bolts to plan their replacement and to avoid unexpected breakages of wind turbine blade connections. To develop the methodology, M16 bolts of quality 10.9 with controlled predamage were used, simulating in-service operating conditions. The fatigue tests were carried out taking care to place the nut at the point on the bolt that produces the highest damage at the same point where the predamage was performed. In addition, the influence of a possible angular positioning error on the residual fatigue life has been investigated. The residual fatigue life is estimated from the difference in fatigue life of new bolt tests and the fatigue life of predamaged bolt tests, simulating service conditions. Special care has been taken to guarantee that the most damaged zone of the bolt in service is also in the position that produces the highest damage during tests. An experimental procedure for determining the fatigue life of a new bolt from tests conducted on a bolt under the same operating conditions was developed. The developed methodology has been applied to M20 bolts belonging to real turbines in service.
SubjectsBolted joints; Fatigue life of bolted joints; Residual fatigue life; Wind turbine bolt
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