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Two blade-detachment failures in large (600 kW) wind turbine generators were investigated. In the first case, bolt failures were established as the initial failure event. A fatigue crack reached a critical length, fast fracture developed and was then arrested as the bolt unloaded. Crack growth resumed when loading increased with cracking or fracture of adjacent bolts. The problem was identified as one of insufficient preload on the bolts. In the second failure on a different unit, a retaining nut on a blade assembly split, allowing a roller bearing to slide off a shaft and a blade to separate at...

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