Physical Modelling of Crack Initiation and Propagation

The EUROS Workpackage Physical modelling of crack initiation and propagation in a nutshell

Offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are heavily exposed to fatigue loading, resulting in crack initiation and propagation. Unfortunately, long term prediction of the probability of failure is currently not possibly, even when several OWTs are intensively monitored. Existing approaches do not correctly capture the effects of, for example, variable amplitude loading or crack corrosion. Therefore, a significant amount of inspection and maintenance is required in order to prevent sudden failure, driving the costs of OWT parks. The objective of this work package is to develop a novel computational fatigue model for crack initiation and crack propagation in welded, thick-walled metal structures with which the remaining service life of the support structure can be estimated accurately, efficiently and reliably.