The purpose of this paper is to critically assess several computer tools for calculating the inertial and structural properties of wind turbine blades. The theoretical foundation of each tool is briefly summarized, and the advantages and disadvantages of each tool are pointed out. Several benchmark examples, including a circular aluminium tube, a highly heterogeneous section, a multi-layer composite pipe, an isotropic blade-like section and a realistic composite wind turbine blade are used to evaluate the performance of different tools. Such a systematic and critical assessment provides guidance for wind turbine blade engineers to choose the right tool for effective design and analysis of wind turbine blades. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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