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EuCIA is pleased to announce its participation in the EU-funded project EOLIAN – Bio-based, repairable and recyclable vitrimer composites and advanced sensors for highly reliable and sustainable wind blades.

The EOLIAN project is aiming to develop wind turbine blades with a longer lifetime, greater reliability and easier maintenance, together with higher sustainability and recyclability. This goal will be achieved by using bio-based reparable and recyclable vitrimer composites with basalt fibres, and the integration of advanced recyclable sensors and actuators to enable structural health monitoring (SHM) of the blades. All the design phases will be supported by advanced multiscale modelling to ensure the highest performance level, and by life cycle assessment (LCA)-based environmental analysis to guarantee the most sustainable approach.

Reuseable and recyclable

The use of vitrimers will pave the way to different end-of-use solutions for the wind blades, which will be studied as part of the project. Vitrimer composites exhibit similar mechanical properties to thermoset composites but they can be reprocessed after cure, which allows the reuse of parts by heating and simple re-shaping (thermoforming). Chemical recycling allows the separation of the vitrimer matrix and the fibre, with the potential to reuse both materials in the wind energy sector. When the end-of-use part is considered low quality, it can be shredded mechanically and the recycled materials moulded into other applications simply by reheating.

An interdisciplinary consortium

In the EOLIAN consortium EuCIA joins nine partners from industry, RTOs and universities: Politecnico di Milano (Italy), ZRL Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS (Turkey), Brunel University (UK), Entelea Ltd (UK), IRES – Innovation in Research and Engineering Solutions (Belgium), Norvento Tecnologia S.L. (Spain), Fundación Tekniker (Spain), AEP Polymers (Italy) and the project coordinator Proplast (Consorzio per la Promozione della Cultura Plastica, Italy).

The consortium brings together experts in vitrimer chemistry, SHM in the wind industry, composite materials, and dissemination and exploitation. EuCIA will lead Work Package 8: Dissemination and Exploitation, which will disseminate the project’s results, develop exploitation strategies and a roadmap for commercialisation.

The project starts in June 2024 and will last 3.5 years. The project’s social media channels and website will be launched later this year.

 

Further information:

Norvento Enerxía will design and manufacture a prototype of recyclable wind turbine blade in the framework of the European EOLIAN consortium

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