Final Meeting held at Smithers Rapra

Partners from the WALiD consortium attended the final meeting on 12th January 2017 at Smithers Rapra in Shropshire.

The purpose of this meeting was to allow the partners to present an overview of work performed and results achieved throughout the projects’ 4 years.

The meeting was very successful and was attended by the EC Project Technical Advisor who commented how much he has enjoyed being a part of the WALiD project and how welcome he has been made to feel by the partners.

The day was rounded off with a tour of the various laboratories at Smithers Rapra.




WALiD demonstrates the successful use of thermoplastics in offshore rotor blades

WALiD, the European project to introduce thermoplastic materials in offshore rotor blades, has successfully demonstrated that replacing thermosets in the blade root, shear web, spar cap and coating can lead to a lighter, cost-efficient and recyclable blade.

Offshore wind turbines are becoming ever larger and the transportation, installation, disassembly and disposal of these blades are presenting the industry with new challenges. To meet this challenge, European researchers and industry experts partnered to develop highly durable thermoplastic foams and composites, a thermoplastic coating with high erosion and UV resistance and an innovative automated fibre placement process for layup of hybrid fibre tapes resulting in a lighter blade with an improved design and an increase in service life.

Sandwich materials made from thermoplastic foams and fibre-reinforced plastics are used for the outer shell of the blade as well as for segments of the inner supporting structure. The carbon-fibre reinforced thermoplastics are used for areas of the blade that bear the greatest load, whilst glass-fibre reinforces the less stressed areas. The introduction of a modular designed shear web and new ultralight, stiff materials with increased mechanical properties make it quick to manufacture and cost-effective to produce.

The WALiD thermoplastic coating is a protective surface layer that has demonstrated increased durability under harsh conditions. In addition, to support the development of the coatings a new predictive model was validated to model the relationship between surface properties and erosion resistance.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. FP7-309985.

WALiD Showcases Results at Offshore Energy 2016 (October 2016)

The WALiD partners recently exhibited at the Offshore Energy event which took place on 25th and 26th October in Amsterdam.  This event was the ideal opportunity to showcase the results achieved in the project, display the demonstrator and other materials developed and highlight the key benefits.

image2A series of interviews took place during the conference at the Offshore Wind Expertise Hub and Hans Knudsen from Comfil was invited to speak about WALiD.  During this interview, he outlined the advantages of the WALiD blade and explained the use of thermoplastics and end of life approach in the project.


The video can be viewed here:


WALiD at ‘K’ 2016 (October 2016)

The ‘K’ fair is held every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany and is the world’s leading fair for the plastics and rubber industry.  This year’s fair took place from the 19th to 26th October and was attended by Fraunhofer ICT.


Fraunhofer ICT displayed a range of material from their stand which included sandwich, tape and foam samples and project literature was also distributed.  Around 218,000 visitors attended from 108 countries from a variety of sectors, both professional and public.  Approximately 30 people expressed an interest in the project.


Fraunhofer ICT attends ITHEC 2016 (October 2016)

ITHEC 2016 was the third International Conference and Exhibition on Thermoplastic Composites.  International experts and representatives were invited from leading companies to highlight the opportunities that thermoplastic composites are able to offer in terms of cost, performance and lead times.

ITHEC1This year’s conference took place from 11th to 12th October in Bremen, Germany and was attended by Fraunhofer ICT who were invited to give a paper and a presentation of the project.

Around 280 people attended this conference from a total of 26 countries, a high proportion of which were from industry.


Windrad disseminates project at Wind Energy 2016 (September 2016)

Wind energy hamburg

The world’s leading exposition for wind energy provided the perfect platform for project partner Windrad Engineering to disseminate the project.

This event, which took place in Hamburg, Germany between 27th to 30th September attracted around 35,000 visitors from fields such as suppliers, manufacturers and material development and processing.

Windrad disseminated the project by handing out project flyers and taking part in technical discussions.

Windrad Gives Lecture at Windmesse Symposium


Michael Haenler gave a lecture explaining the basic ideas of the project at the 14th Windmesse Symposium which took place on 12th May 2016 at the Hamburg Port Hotel in Germany.

14 windmesse symposium

The lecture, entitled “New Materials for Offshore Blades: The WALiD Project” was attended by approximately 50 people from areas such as research, suppliers, manufacturers, certifiers, facility managers and companies responsible for the development of offshore windfarms

Fraunhofer ICT Attends FAKUMA (October 2015)

FAKUMA 2015Fraunhofer ICT attended the 24th FAKUMA International trade fair for plastics processing held in Friedrichshafen in Germany on 13th to 17th October 2015.

The fair which attracted around 1,780 exhibitors from 38 countries offered a comprehensive overview of all plastics technologies and those involved in injection moulding, extrusion technology and thermoforming were able to access information about processes, machines and tools applicable to the plastics industry.  The focus of the event was on thermoplastic processing with a high proportion of injection moulding related topics (mainly machine manufacturers, material suppliers and end-users).

Fraunhofer ICT demonstrated the sandwich material via a wind turbine model which had been built specifically for this purpose.  In addition, the tape and foam material was disseminated and project flyers were handed out.

Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira Holds Open Day (October 2015)

DSC01649DSC01655Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira opened its doors on 29th October for an Open Day on ‘Innovation in Plastics and Rubber’.

The event was a great success with around 35 people attending from a range of industries.

During the day a number of briefings took place.  These covered subjects such as: ‘Innovation through collaboration’, ‘Benefits of an innovation partnership’ and ‘Future trends in plastic innovation’ and details of the WALiD project were included in a presentation used for one of these briefings.

A tour of the various laboratories at Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira took place and delegates were also given the opportunity to network with other attendees and Smithers Rapra personnel over lunch.

DSC01650A selection of WALiD dissemination material was on display which included a pull up banner, posters, leaflets, postcards and press packs containing a range of material were handed out to delegates on departure.  The project video was also available to watch on a digital TV screen.