Penalty coupling of non-matching isogeometric Kirchhoff-Love shell patches with application to composite wind turbine blades
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Isogeometric analysis (IGA) has been a particularly impactful development in the realm of Kirchhoff–Love thin-shell analysis because the high-order basis functions employed naturally satisfy the requirement of C 1 continuity. Still, engineering models of appreciable complexity, such as wind turbine blades, are typically modeled using multiple surface patches and, often, neither rotational continuity nor conforming discretization can be practically obtained at patch interfaces. A penalty approach for coupling adjacent patches is therefore presented. The proposed method imposes both displacement and rotational continuity and is applicable to either smooth or non-smooth interfaces and either matching or non-matching discretization. The penalty formulations require only a single, dimensionless penalty coefficient for both displacement and rotation coupling terms, alleviating the problem-dependent nature of the penalty parameters. Using this coupling methodology, numerous benchmark problems encapsulating a variety of analysis types, geometrical and material properties, and matching and non-matching interfaces are addressed. The coupling methodology produces consistently accurate results throughout all tests. Furthermore, the suggested penalty coefficient of α = 103 is shown to be effective for the wide range of problem configurations addressed. Finally, a realistic wind turbine blade model, consisting of 27 patches and 51 coupling interfaces and having a chordwise- and spanwise-variant composite material definition, is subjected to buckling, vibration, and nonlinear deformation analyses using the proposed approach.