The objective of this work is to predict the fracture behavior of adhesive joints in the 4-ply carbon/epoxy wind turbine blades through finite element method. The influence of through-thickness flaw in the adhesive layer was examined. The contour integral method was used for evaluating the stress intensity factors (SIF) at the flaw tips, while the strength of the joint was assessed through the crack initiation and propagation simulation. The effect of adhesive shear modulus has also been investigated. Results suggested that the maximum stress occurred at the adhesive-shell interface and increased stress levels were observed in the case of adhesive layer with flaw. It also highlighted distinct edge effects along the thickness of the adhesive joint. Compared to the perfect adhesive, the static strength of the adhesive joint with flaw remained unchanged. Large shear modulus of the adhesive diminished the strength of the adhesive joint with the increased SIF.

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