A New Concept of Sustainable Wind Turbine Blades: Bio-Inspired Design with Engineered Adhesives
In this paper, a new concept of extra-durable and sustainable wind turbine blades is presented. The two critical materials science challenges of the development of wind energy now are the necessity to prevent the degradation of wind turbine blades for several decades, and, on the other side, to provide a solution for the recyclability and sustainability of blades. In preliminary studies by DTU Wind, it was demonstrated that practically all typical wind turbine blade degradation mechanisms (e.g., coating detachment, buckling, spar cap/shell adhesive joint degradation, trailing edge failure, etc.) have their roots in interface degradation. The concept presented in this work includes the development of bio-inspired dual-mechanism-based interface adhesives (combining mechanical interlocking of fibers and chemical adhesion), which ensures, on the one side, extra-strong attachment during the operation time, and on the other side, possible adhesive joint separation for re-use of the blade parts. The general approach and physical mechanisms of adhesive strengthening and separation are described.