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8th September 2017, Amstelveen

Rotor blade analysis with VABS

VABS is a beam model which can achieve 3D FEA fidelity with the efficiency of simple beam element. © EJ-Projects/AnalySwift EJ-Projects has licensed the VABS modelling software developed by Salt Lake City, Utah-based AnalySwift for use in simulating composite rotor blades.

Based in the Netherlands, EJ-Projects is an engineering consultancy specialising in modelling and simulation, loads, aeroelasticity and structural engineering. The company’s primary focus is in aerospace, turbo-machinery and wind power technologies, and it will employ VABS for composite rotor blade analysis projects, including an off-shore wind turbine project.

“We have had a relationship with EJ-Projects for some time and have been impressed with the work they have done, particularly in composite rotor blade analysis,” said Allan Wood, president and CEO of AnalySwift. “VABS provides a uniquely rigorous solution as a general-purpose cross-sectional analysis tool for computing beam sectional properties and recovering 3D fields of slender composite structures. This includes composite helicopter and wind turbine rotor blades, as well as other slender composite parts, such as landing gear, propellers and high-aspect ratio wings.”

“EJ-Projects uses VABS together with GEBT, an open source companion code to VABS, in design analysis focused on rotor blade dynamics,” added Eric Jansen of EJ-Projects. “Together with industry standard integrated load analysis software, EJ-Projects also employs VABS for design and certification of offshore wind turbines.”

VABS is a beam model which can achieve 3D FEA fidelity with the efficiency of simple beam element. The time saving in model preparing and computing is in orders of magnitude. Hours of 3D FEA requires only seconds with VABS. As long as beam elements are used in the design (such as multibody dynamics simulation, aeroelastic simulation), VABS will compute the best stiffness constant (such as torsional stiffness) for the beam element. To deal with a composite wing/rotor, many 3D FEA systems rely on smearing many layers into one thick layer, which introduces significant errors and defeats the purpose of being high fidelity. However, VABS can compute ply-level stress field without such approximations.

“VABS is capable of rigorously decoupling an original 3D slender solid with complex cross sections into a simple engineering beam model,” explained Dr Wenbin Yu, CTO of AnalySwift. “With continuous development funded by the US Army spanning over 20 years for performance and robustness, the software’s accuracy has been extensively verified by its developers and users.”

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