CAMX Award | Fiberglass-Graphene-Polypropylene 3D Printing Filament Made from Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades

Event Time

Originally Aired - Tuesday, October 18 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Info Alert

Create or Log in to My Show Planner to see Videos and Resources.

Videos

Resources


{{video.title}}

Log in to your planner to join the zoom meeting!

{{chatHeaderContent}}

{{chatBodyContent}}

Resources

Info Alert

This Session Has Not Started Yet

Be sure to come back after the session starts to have access to session resources.

Event Location

Location: CAMX Awards Pavilion


Event Information

Title: CAMX Award | Fiberglass-Graphene-Polypropylene 3D Printing Filament Made from Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades

Description:

Combined Strength Award 

Company: Windfall, Inc.

Description:  The CAMX Award winners will be announced during Tuesday's General Session and will present in the theater at 12 pm. All entries will be on display throughout the week in the CAMX Awards Pavilion in the exhibit hall. A recycled fiberglass, graphene enhanced polypropylene 3D printer filament product has been produced from decommissioned wind turbine blade waste. This material was then demonstrated in a typical application by 3D printing a functional multi-rotor drone. The use of recycled fiberglass material creates a sustainable, circular economy loop and allows consumers to reduce their carbon footprint. The reduced production scrap and efficiency of manufacturing associated with 3D printing coupled with the material's recyclability as a thermoplastic produces a low waste, sustainable product. To recover the fibers from the end-of-life wind blades, a proprietary fiber reclamation process was used.  

Collaboration and Partnerships: The origin of this product began with a US Department of Energy funded STTR collaboration between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Carbon Rivers, Inc. to develop and scale a new UT technology for recycling fiberglass from composite wind turbine blades. The success of this project resulted in the formation of the composites recycling startup, Windfall, Inc. that was able to recover fiberglass for filament production from end of life wind blades sourced from MidAmerican Energy Company. Project partner Carbon Rivers was then able to toll compound the recycled fiberglass with its own graphene additive product into polypropylene pellets. Windfall then further processed these pellets into its own polypropylene 3D filament product and then utilized the material to print its display multi-rotor drone as well as a variety of other demonstration products for other industrial clients.  The success of this project resulted in the formation of the composites recycling startup, Windfall, Inc. that was able to recover fiberglass for filament production from end of life wind blades sourced from MidAmerican Energy Company. Project partner Carbon Rivers was then able to toll compound the recycled fiberglass with its own graphene additive product into polypropylene pellets. Windfall then further processed these pellets into its own polypropylene 3D filament product and then utilized the material to print its display multi-rotor drone as well as a variety of other demonstration products for other industrial clients.

Concept and Design: During reclamation of the fiberglass from the end-of-life wind blade, the recovered fiber was kept short to aid in feeding the fiber into the compounding process. The compounded polypropylene pellets were then converted into a standard 1.75mm diameter filament for compatibility with most standard 3D FDM printers. A multi-rotor drone was selected to demonstrate the printability of the material as it is a typical 3D print application that clearly benefits from a rugged, reinforced composite capable of sustaining impacts during crashes/collisions or other physical damage. Sustainability was a primary driving force behind the design as this filament product provides a new pathway for decommissioned wind blades (and other composites) to reenter the market as recycled fiberglass products. As the composites industry continues to grow, the need to recycle fiberglass composites back into new products will only increase. The 3D printing market is a prime opportunity to pair this massive growth in recycling need with raw material demand and to introduce a sustainably sourced product that can be recycled again at end of life for a true circular economy. The 3D printing market is a prime opportunity to pair this massive growth in recycling need with raw material demand and to introduce a sustainably sourced product that can be recycled again at end of life for a true circular economy. 

Additional Information: As mentioned, the drone printed from our recycled fiber filament is fully functional, and so we would be happy to have our FAA approved drone pilot perform a flight demonstration at CAMX.  The recycling process recovers the reinforcement fiberglass while converting the thermoset matrix to heavy oils allowing for further energy reclamation throughout the process. This recycled fiberglass was then fed into a compounding process to produce 3D printer filament. Through reclaiming the fiberglass, the filament material’s embodied energy is lower compared to virgin fiberglass based material, providing improved sustainability.

Type: CAMX Awards


Notes

Create or Log in to My Show Planner to add notes.