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A Study of the Effect of Geometry Changes on the Structural Stiffness of a Composite D-Spar

[+] Author Affiliations
Swaroop B. Visweswaraiah, Damiano Pasini, Larry Lessard

McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Paper No. DETC2010-28730, pp. 51-58; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 36th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4409-0 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The paper examines the impact of varying two geometric cross-section parameters of an advance composite D-spar on its structural stiffness. For a given blade topology, the orientation of the D-spar web with respect to the beam axis and the distance of the D-spar web from the leading edge of the blade have been selected here as the variables of study, as they govern the elastic properties of the composite cross-section. A code has been developed to calculate the matrix terms of the Euler-Bernoulli cross-sectional stiffness utilizing the closed form expressions of the structural properties formulated by assuming both Thin-Walled composite Beam theory (TWB) and Classical Laminate Theory. The code has been validated through the Variational Asymptotic Beam Sectional analysis (VABS) for the cross-sectional stiffness matrix. Two cases have been studied for a quasi-isotropic laminate D-spar. The first is for a symmetric airfoil, whereas the second is for an unsymmetrical airfoil. The variation of the stiffness parameters for the quasi-isotropic D-spar including the coupling parameters has been visualized into parametric maps. The paper also examines the impact that these geometric variables have on the stiffness-to-mass ratio to show that along with the ply orientations they play a major role in the aeroelastic tailoring and structural optimization of a composite blade.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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