Rain droplet erosion behavior of a thermoplastic based leading edge protection system for wind turbine blades

T.H. Hoksbergen*, I. Baran, R. Akkerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses the rain droplet erosion mechanisms of an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Rain droplet impingement was modeled based on a coupled smoothed particle hydrodynamics and finite element method (SPH/FEM). Using linear elastic material parameters at low strain rates, the dynamic stress behavior was studied and the location of damage initiation was predicted. Experiments using a pulsating jet erosion tester were performed and the resulting erosion behavior was analyzed using confocal microscopy. The damage was expected to initiate at the surface and remain superficial during propagation. It was shown that a pitting behavior occurred at the surface after the first few impacts. This pitting continued until 100.000 impacts. After this, the pits connected through a cracking mechanism and finally, at 300.000 impacts, cratering was observed which led to the onset of material loss. The depth of these craters was observed to be approximately 80µm, which was relatively low as compared to the material thickness of 4mm, indicating superficial damage. The resulting volume loss curve showed an initial period where no volume loss occurred, called the incubation period, followed by a linear relation between the volume loss and the number of impacts. This behavior agreed well with behavior found for other materials in literature. The surface roughness parameters were determined for each amount of impacts and the mean roughness value corresponded well to the volume loss behavior. Earlier stages of damage could be detected by analyzing the skewness value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012023
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020
Event41st Riso International Symposium on Materials Science: Materials and Design for Next Generation Wind Turbine Blades - Online Event, Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 7 Sept 202010 Sept 2020
Conference number: 41


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