Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
In collaboration with the Via Carpatia Polytechnic Network, scientists are pioneering the development of innovative acoustic screens using giant wind turbine blades that are discarded in landfills near wind farms.
As wind turbine blades have an average lifespan of 20-25 years, approximately 225,000 tons of used blades are expected to undergo recycling by 2035. The researchers, led by Prof. Mirosław Broniewicz, recognized the challenges associated with the disposal of these composite materials and proposed a groundbreaking solution.
By repurposing the composite materials from wind turbine blades, especially those lying along Poland’s western border, the scientists aim to construct durable road acoustic screens. Current alternatives, such as concrete screens, have environmental drawbacks due to cement production, while plastic-based screens degrade over time, and metal screens are susceptible to corrosion.
The team’s innovative approach involves cutting turbine blades into smaller elements, assembling them into acoustic screen panels. The challenging curved nature of the blades necessitates a thorough investigation of mechanical properties using Finite Element Method modeling.
The next phase involves experimental strength tests and acoustic evaluations to validate the panels’ durability and effectiveness. This collaborative effort between three universities within the Via Carpatia Polytechnic Network is part of the ISKRA program, fostering interdisciplinary research teams.
This pioneering project, titled “Secondary Use of Wind Turbine Blades in Engineering Constructions,” is slated for completion by July 2025. The international publication documenting their research signifies a significant contribution to sustainable engineering practices.