New Thermoplastic Resin Adhesive Advances Recyclability of Wind Turbine Blades
A new wind turbine blade, manufactured by the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium, is a new type of ‘thermoplastic resin’ blade. The new technology was created to further advance the industry’s commitment to sustainability in wind energy.
The blades were made at LM Wind Power’s blade plant in Castellón, Spain, using Arkema’s thermoplastic liquid resin Elium® known for its recyclability, and Owens Corning’s high-performance glass fabrics. It features a new Carbon-Elium resin spar cap technology and a new adhesive from Arkema’s subsidiary Bostik, which specializes in adhesive solutions.
Importantly, the second ZEBRA blade is a world-first in using recycled Elium resin in the manufacture of a shear web, a structurally important component that helps to support and distribute the forces put on the blade. The companies report that this advancement demonstrates the potential of the resin technology to deliver sustainable blade designs and contribute to the recyclability of the Elium resin.
Following the manufacture of the first recyclable blade in March 2022, the ZEBRA consortium initiated a further intensive development and testing phase to develop the necessary technologies to manufacture a Carbon-Elium resin spar design. This included material and process development to ensure that required mechanical properties could be achieved, and in close collaboration with LM Wind Power’s skilled Castellon team, the necessary manufacturing process could be developed to ensure the manufacture of full-scale components.
John Korsgaard, senior director, LM Wind Power said, “The second ZEBRA blade builds on the learnings and valuable insights gained from the creation of the first blade and has helped us understand the structural potential to use Elium resin in carbon blades. It complements the efforts led by our partners to demonstrate the recycling technologies for Elium-based composites using glass fiber and even carbon fiber. This blade marks a key milestone for the ZEBRA project and highlights the significance of plant collaboration in new technology development, in addition to supporting sustainability objectives for our company and our customers.”
Source: Arkema / Bostik