The materials developed in WALiD will enable thermoset-based material to be replaced in the root, tip and shear web.
The materials developed in WALiD will enable thermoset-based material to be replaced in the root, tip and shear web.

The four-year WALiD (Wind Blade Using Cost-Effective Advanced Composite Light-Weight Design) project is part-funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme and proposes the introduction of thermoplastic composite materials into the blade root, tip, shell core and shear web, leading to the following advantages: 

  • improved design of blade root, connection concept and tip: strain analysis on the blade will enable high-performance thermoplastic composites to replace thermosetting components, saving costs and weight;
     
  • replacement of the shell core with thermoplastic foam materials: the density of the core material can be modified to the specific load, optimising the weight/stability profile to enable faster processing via automated processes;
     
  • improved modular concept of shear web design: replacement of existing thermosets by thermoplastic composite structures to ensure a lightweight, load-optimised design; and
     
  • development of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic coating: improving the blade's environmental resistance, anti-icing properties and durability against abrasion combined with a new predictive simulation model.

The WALiD consortium, which will commit a total of €5.1 million to the project, is comprised of 11 European organisations including:

  • the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) and Windrad Engineering GmbH from Germany;
  • Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira Ltd from the UK;
  • TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, PPG Industries Fibre Glass BV and NEN from Netherlands;
  • APT Archimedes Polymer Technologies from Cyprus;
  • Norner AS from Norway;
  • Comfil ApS from Denmark;
  • Loiretech SAS and Coriolis Composites SAS from France.

The WALiD project started in March 2013.