Carbon Nanotubes build Wind Turbine Blades Lighter and Stronger

August 30, 2011 · Print This Article

A scientist at Case Western Reserve University has discovered that adding carbon nanotubes to a traditional mix of plastics used in wind turbine blades could manufacture them much lighter and stronger, meaning that future blades could be much more efficient while additionally requiring less maintenance.

The study found that carbon nanotubes are lighter per unit of volume than carbon fiber and aluminum and had five times more tensile strength than carbon fiber

and 60 times more than aluminum.

If those carbon nanotubes are mixed with a polyurethane composite, the material lasts eights longer than an epoxy reinforced with fiberglass and it was eight times stronger in fracture tests.  Compared to a vinyl ester reinforced with fiberglass (another material commonly used in wind turbine blades), the carbon nanotube material performed even better with far less fracture rates.

via Grist

[Source] Cynthia


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