• This article is part of the following channel(s)

Potentially recyclable wind turbine blades

US National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed wind turbine blade components using liquid thermoplastic resin.

Wind turbine blades are commonly made using thermoset resins. The major downside of this material is that it cannot be reheated and therefore not recycled.

The new thermoplastic materials, however can potentially be recycled at the end of the wind turbine’s lifespan. Additionally, they may also reduce a turbine’s levelised cost of energy by reducing cycle time, embodied evert and capital costs, according to the laboratory. Because the can be thermally welded, thermoplastic resins may also eliminate the need for additional adhesive materials.

The research is part of the lab’s Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation project, which aims to reach 80 per cent recyclability for the composite structures of wind turbine blades.