The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) has announced a project focused on thermoplastic composite advancements for wind turbine blades.
IACMI is driven by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with Johns Manville, Arkema Inc., TPI Composites Inc., the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Colorado School of Mines, Vanderbilt University and Purdue University.
IACMI says thermoset composites reinforced by fiber are the current materials of choice for large-scale wind turbine components; however, challenges in manufacturing costs, performance and recyclability are limiting.
Thus, IACMI, along with its partners, will investigate new developments in thermoplastic materials to lower production costs, improve the recyclability of turbine blades and expand applicability to components demonstrated at large scale.
IACMI says the long-term impact could reduce costs and improve reliability in composite structures, which allow for process improvements on a larger scale and increase energy efficiency.
“Partnering with industry leaders to advance thermoplastic-based composites will allow us to reach ambitious technical impact goals,” says Bryan Dods, CEO of IACMI. “These upcoming advancements will reduce life cycle energy use and strengthen manufacturing innovations in wind turbine blade production.”