World Congress on Computational Mechanics


Seyed Ahmad Elahi

Ghent University

Soete Laboratory


Fatigue and corrosion are critical failure causes of offshore wind support structures. The low accessibility and high inspection/repair costs of large structures in corrosive environments is motivating remote monitoring and optimized inspection and maintenance plans, based on continuous assessment of the structure reliability. Due to the time‐variant uncertainties associated with the applied loads, having reliable models that can simulate the real behavior of the structure to predict qualitatively and quantitatively the degradations due to corrosion and fatigue is necessary to assess the structural safety and to support decision making. This information can be employed to regularly update the failure probabilities of welded joints and thus structural reliability. Our objective is to develop an integrated corrosion-fatigue numerical model (which contains pitting, crack initiation, short crack propagation, and long crack propagation) and to construct S‐N curves taking into account the level of corrosion and presence of cracks, further called a “smart SN curve”. This research work is part of a broad project (MAXWind) where the global goal is to get a much better estimation of the remaining life of in‐service offshore wind turbines and to derive optimized inspection and maintenance plans for a group of similar structures.