Finite element blade structural dynamics

by Qi Wang, Ph.D. and Michael A. Sprague, Ph.D.
National Wind Technology Center

BeamDyn is a time-domain structural-dynamics module for slender structures. The module has been coupled into the FAST aero-hydro-servo-elastic wind turbine multi-physics engineering tool where it used to model blade structural dynamics. BeamDyn is designed to analyze beams that are made of composite materials, initially curved and twisted, and subject to large displacement and rotation deformations. BeamDyn can also be used for static analysis of beams.

BeamDyn is based on the geometrically exact beam theory (GEBT) and is implemented using Legendre spectral finite elements (LSFEs). GEBT supports full geometric nonlinearity and large deflection, with bending, torsion, shear, and extensional degree-of-freedom (DOFs); anisotropic composite material couplings (using full 6x6 mass and stiffness matrices, including bend-twist coupling); and a reference axis that permits blades that are not straight (supporting built-in curve, sweep, and sectional offsets).

You may download the following files:


  • BeamDyn User's Guide and Theory Manual (9-March-2016)

    Read this document to learn about the theory implemented in BeamDyn and how to use the software.

  • BeamDyn Change Log (v1.01.04, 26-Jul-2016)

    This is a list of changes made to the code. Look at this text file to see if we have made worthwhile changes since you received your previous version of BeamDyn.

BeamDyn Archives (v1.01.04, 26-Jul-2016)

There are two types of archives you can download:

Programming Language:     Technology:     Wind and Water Tools:

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If you want to refer to this website in a report, here is a reference you can use:
NWTC Information Portal (BeamDyn). Last modified 31-August-2016 ; Accessed 23-February-2017