Composites innovation: manufacturing of a wind turbine blade in Elium® thermoplastic
With clean energies becoming a genuine societal issue, Arkema has once again demonstrated its commitment to sustainable development. For the first time on American soil, a wind turbine blade has been manufactured from the Elium® thermoplastic resin.
The project, run in Boulder (Colorado) in January 2017, was designed to validate the feasibility of the industrial production of such a blade from a thermoplastic composite. For the Arkema teams, this was also an opportunity to demonstrate the various assets of the Elium® resin, which include:
Liquid like epoxy resins, the Elium® resin uses the same processes and molds as thermoset composites. However, energy consumption is much lower as the molds do not need heating. Furthermore, the components of the blade can be assembled by bonding at ambient temperature, unlike thermoset bonds which require heat input.
Initial tests conducted by Arkema have shown that a composite part made from Elium® is more durable than parts made from a thermoset composite. Additionally, the thermoplastic nature of the Elium® resin makes it easier to recycle. A major first and a genuine innovation for a high performance material.
Learn about the properties of this wind turbine blade unique in the world and take a look at its manufacture behind the scenes in the following video shot in the IACMI workshops.