Composites Today

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Turning end-of-life wind blades to liners for cured in place pipe

TPI Composites, Inc., has partnered with Tex-Tech and Carbon Rivers in a pilot program to process end-of-life wind blades, pyrolyze the material and process the recovered glass fiber into liners for cured in place pipe (CIPP). CIPP gives new life to damaged pipelines without the excavation of streets through rehabilitation of existing water mains and waste lines by lining the walls of the existing pipe with a hardened synthetic fiber tube.

With this partnership, TPI is able to contribute to a circular economy providing end-of-life wind blades to Carbon Rivers who has created a pilot line for the recycling process through high-temperature pyrolysis. The result is recovery of valuable lightweight hydrocarbons as feedstocks for new products as well the glass fiber, the primary reinforcement in wind turbine blades. These reinforcements are received by Tex-Tech, who then integrate the glass fiber with other materials to create a non-woven liner, the primary component used in CIPP operations. This liner design significantly increases the properties of the installation resulting in lower costs and improved long-term performance.

The Tex-Tech product and results from testing conducted by TPI were recently presented at the “Underground Construction Technology” conference in Orlando, Florida. 

Vincent Gallacher, Director of Research & Product Development at Tex Tech said “We have a strong corporate belief in creating sustainable supply chains that lead to the efficient use of raw materials to reduce overall waste. Our involvement with TPI and Carbon Rivers, establishes a path for reuse of end-of-life wind turbine blades which exemplifies this principle for the betterment of our customers, our company and society.”

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