Assessment of Fatigue Load Effects on UHPC Components for Wind Energy Applications

  • Bin Cai (Iowa State University)
  • Sri Sritharan (Iowa State University)


This is an accepted article with a DOI pre-assigned that is not yet published.

Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) provides exceptional mechanical properties such as high compressive strength and durability characteristics, thus providing strong resistance to corrosive environments. The Hexcrete technology is a novel concept developed for tall wind turbine towers. It uses prefabricated UHPC and High Strength Concrete (HSC) elements to build towers up to 160 m to support wind turbine towers cost-effectively. However, limited data are available for evaluating the fatigue performance of the Hexcrete tower since experiments on UHPC and HSC were not adequately tested for fatigue load representative of wind turbine towers. To fulfill this knowledge gap, an in-plane test was carried out to investigate the fatigue behavior of Hexcrete tower connections and components and subjected to 2 million operational load cycles and 200,000 extreme load cycles. The test specimen was designed as a column-panel-column unit to represent one side of a six-sided tower cell in a full Hexcrete tower. To evaluate the fatigue load effects on the test unit, the principal strains and stiffness degradation at different load peak loads were examined. Test results showed that the performance of the prefabricated elements and connections was excellent, as indicated by insignificant fatigue damage throughout the test.

Keywords: UHPC, fatigue load, wind energy, tall wind tower, hexcrete technology

Rights: © 2013 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

Peer Reviewed