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HANNOVER MESSE 2020, 20 - 24 April
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Lightweight Construction

Wind turbine rotor blades boost recycling

The Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research presented new techniques for recycling wind-power rotor blades at the LIGNA trade fair in Hanover. For example, they can be processed into ultra-lightweight and efficient insulation mats

22 Jul. 2019
HMI-ID07-007rf_FraunhoferWKI_ManuelaLingnau
Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI | Manuela Lingnau

In the coming years, thousands of wind turbines will cease to be eligible for funding, and, as a result, many will probably be decommissioned. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI in Braunschweig has now presented new methods for recycling rotor blades at LIGNA, the world’s leading trade fair for machinery, plant, and tools for woodworking and wood processing. Instead of incinerating the blades, which are mostly made of balsa wood, as has until now been the case, the Fraunhofer Institute suggests processing them into wood-fiber insulation mats. With a density of less than 20 kg/m3, the recycled mats are considerably lighter than any other model available on the market and also offer significantly better insulation in relation to their weight.

At LIGNA, the institute’s scientists also presented extruded floorboards made from wood polymer composites (WPC), also produced from the balsa wood from rotor blades. These floorboards are not only lighter but also stronger than the standard WPC decking boards currently available. In addition, a novel wood foam made from recycled balsa wood was also exhibited.

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