27 - 31 May
Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are developing innovative recycling techniques for the recovery of balsa wood and plastic foam from wind-turbine rotor blades. The materials are used to produce new, improved insulation and building materials. The novelty lies in the fact that the usable areas containing the balsa wood are separated during dismantling on site. The materials can be processed separately and recycled at a high standard.
A section of a wind-turbine rotor blade and the new products obtained from it will be on display. The exhibited application possibilities demonstrate the versatile new opportunities for wind-turbine operators, recycling companies, WPC manufacturers, insulation-material manufacturers, wood-based materials manufacturers and the packaging industry.
One novel example which will be exhibited: “light” extruded floorboards made from wood-polymer composites (WPC). WPC made from balsa wood has not been produced until now. A further new advantage is the higher strength of the floorboards compared to standard WPC decking boards.
Also on display: ultra-lightweight wood-fiber insulation mats made from balsa wood with densities below 20kg/m³. Mats with such densities have not previously been available on the market. The reduced density is combined with significantly better insulation, which results in advantages over insulation materials made from polystyrene, XPS or EPS.
Furthermore, a new type of wood foam made from recycled balsa wood will also be exhibited.
A further advantage is that rotor blades are no longer incinerated - during which valuable raw materials are lost in large quantities - but are instead exploited as a “material source”. The thermal utilization is also difficult as, due to their size and mass, the fiber-reinforced plastics cause problems during combustion. The researchers have developed innovative reutilization procedures with which these materials can be used to produce new, improved insulation and building products.
Hybrid materials in moving form
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