Structural design of composite rotor blades with consideration of manufacturability, durability, and manufacturing uncertainties
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A modular structural design methodology for composite blades is developed. This design method can be used to design composite rotor blades with sophisticate geometric cross-sections. This design method hierarchically decomposed the highly-coupled interdisciplinary rotor analysis into global and local levels. In the global level, aeroelastic response analysis and rotor trim are conduced based on multi-body dynamic models. In the local level, variational asymptotic beam sectional analysis methods are used for the equivalent one-dimensional beam properties. Compared with traditional design methodology, the proposed method is more efficient and accurate. Then, the proposed method is used to study three different design problems that have not been investigated before. The first is to add manufacturing constraints into design optimization. The introduction of manufacturing constraints complicates the optimization process. However, the design with manufacturing constraints benefits the manufacturing process and reduces the risk of violating major performance constraints. Next, a new design procedure for structural design against fatigue failure is proposed. This procedure combines the fatigue analysis with the optimization process. The durability or fatigue analysis employs a strength-based model. The design is subject to stiffness, frequency, and durability constraints. Finally, the manufacturing uncertainty impacts on rotor blade aeroelastic behavior are investigated, and a probabilistic design method is proposed to control the impacts of uncertainty on blade structural performance. The uncertainty factors include dimensions, shapes, material properties, and service loads.