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Wind turbine blades are secured by a number of high-strength bolts. The failure of one such bolt, which caused a turbine blade to detach, was investigated to determine why it fractured. Based on the results of a detailed analysis, consisting of stress calculations, chemical composition testing, metallurgical examination, mechanical property testing, and fractographic analysis, it was determined that the bolt failed by fatigue accelerated by stress concentration at low temperatures. The investigation also provided suggestions for avoiding similar failures.

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