PROCESSING ROTOR BLADE: TIPS AND TRICKS

When wind turbines are repowered or completely deconstructed, the blades are often cut in smaller pieces on site to facilitate transportation. For these first and imprecise cuts, water jet cutting is used. Water jet cutting is very effective but given the different material thicknesses and compositions, the cutting edge is not as clean as a cut with a diamond blade saw.

Although working with fiberglass entails considerable effort, the opportunities of reconnecting the pieces are unlimited. Like in the plane and boat industry, the layers of fiberglass are soaked with epoxy resin to connect two different components. Such a new connection can be as stable as the parts themselves or even more stable.

 

TIPS

Remember: Glass is harder than most common materials!
 

  • You can use your standard machinery, but consider the extensive heat development
     

  • Always use a carbon filter because of the fine dust
     

  • Wear gloves to avoid splinters while handling the material

SAFETY FIRST

FAQ

The Answers You Need

DOES GLASS FIBER CONDUCT ELECTRICITY?

No, glass fiber does not conduct electricity. With newer rotor blade models, however, its carbon fiber components may conduct electricity.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU PUT THE MATERIAL INTO THE GROUND?

Normally rotor blades are painted with polyurethane lacquers. So it shouldn't be a problem from an environmental point of view.

WHAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN BUILDING INTERIORS?

For interior design projects no polyester should be used, since these contain styrene, which evaporates gases for decades. Therefore, it is best to work with epoxy resins.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GRIND THE PIECES?

What is the best way to grind the pieces? To grind the pieces, it is best to use a grain size around 80 and then go higher.

CAN THE SIDES OF THE ROTOR BLADE BE COVERED WITH CONSTRUCTION FOAM?

Yes. However, it is important to note that it may stick less well and therefore you can not put a profile on it.

HOW DOES THE FOAM BEHAVE WHEN CONFRONTED WITH WATER?

Nothing happens with the foam. There are pores in the surface where you have sanded, so a little water could get in here in the first few millimeters, but otherwise the foam is completely waterproof. Mold cannot form either (except possibly in the cavity of the rotor blade).

CAN THE MATERIAL BE SAWED ON A CIRCULAR SAW?

The part consisting exclusively of glass fiber (carrier) can only be cut with a diamond saw blade. In addition, the machine must be strong enough; otherwise, the motor can be overloaded. You can get a diamond saw blade almost everywhere, but the machine has to be rather powerful. Nevertheless, you can also cut through the foam with a normal saw blade.

CAN THE FOAM CRUMBLE?

If you touch the ground, part of the foam may crumble a little.

HOW CAN IMPURITIES BE CLEANED AS REALISTICALLY AS POSSIBLE?

If you mix synthetic resin with cotton flocks, you can achieve a similar combination and cover impurities.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INEXPENSIVE GLASS FIBRE MATERIAL IN GERMANY?

At Lake Constance there are a lot of material builders who sell a lot of things around GRP from tools to resins (e.g. Lange and Ritter).

DOES THE MATERIAL NEED TO BE SEALED?

Not necessarily. Sealing the material might make the material more beautiful but not more"original".