Structural reuse of wind turbine blades through segmentation

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Abstract

Composite materials offer many advantages during the use phase, but recovery at the end of a lifecycle remains a challenge. Structural reuse, where an end of life product is segmented into construction elements, may be a promising alternative. However, composites are often used in large, complex shaped products with optimised material compositions that complicate reuse. A systematic approach is needed to address these challenges and the scale of processing. We investigated structural reuse taking wind turbine blades as a case product. A new segmentation approach was developed and applied to a reference blade model. The recovered construction ele- ments were found to comply to geometric construction standards and to outperform conventional construction materials on specific flexural stiffness and flexural strength. Finally, we explored the reuse of these construction elements in practice. Together, the segmentation approach, structural analysis and practical application provide insights into design aspects that enable structural reuse.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalComposites Part C
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Composite materials
  • Circular Economy
  • Recovery
  • Structural reuse
  • Design
  • Design strategies
  • Wind turbine blades

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