Wind Turbines Waste Turns into 3D Printing Filament

Wind turbines have been developed and implemented to harness energy in a way that better supports our environment. It is a bit contradicting that the development of the turbines creates harmful waste. Isn’t that working against the whole point? Luckily researchers and engineers at the Canadian McGill University and Ryerson University have found a solution, one that involves turning the wind turbine waste (that is environmentally damaging) into a PLA 3D printing material.

“Using a mixture of mechanical grinding and pyrolysis, the team have been able to recycle a now-defunct wind turbine blade into a fine fiber powder. During summary testing, the blade’s remnants not only showed higher strength and stiffness than virgin fiberglass, but once integrated with PLA, they proved capable of yielding robust fiber-reinforced 3D printed parts.”

This process will be able to harness the power of end-of-life turbine blades so that their use does not have to stop there.

“Our recycling system is expected to reuse a huge amount of turbine blade waste, leading to a major reduction in the landfill of dangerous and harmful blade materials.”

The filament that these wind turbines will be producing has actually proven to be a very reliable and a strong product.

“The incorporation of recovered glass fibers in filaments will increase the reliability and strength of the components produced, thereby resulting in a broader application of FDM 3D printing.”

The image below will help articulate the type of waste that wind turbines produce.

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Interested in learning more about wind turbine waste and how 3D printing is going to harness this waste for good? Grab the full article here.

Categories: Innovation