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August’s Top Composite News!

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Let’s kick off our newsfeed with very exciting news: Siemens Gamesa has installed the first Recyclable Blades at RWE offshore farm!

Siemens Gamesa celebrated the delivery of green energy from the world’s first turbine equipped with the company’s composite RecyclableBlades. The first commercial installation of recyclable wind turbine technology recently took place at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany, marking what is said to be a turning point in the long-term sustainability of offshore wind power.

“We’ve brought the Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade technology to market in only 10 months: from launch in September 2021 to installation at RWE’s Kaskasi project in July 2022. The RecyclableBlade technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades were manufactured in Hull, U.K. and the nacelles were produced in and installed from Cuxhaven, Germany” Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit, says. “This is impressive and underlines the pace at which we all need to move to provide enough generating capacity to combat the global climate emergency. This milestone marks a significant contribution to Siemens Gamesa’s target of having fully recyclable turbines by 2040. With RecyclableBlade available for our customers, we can create a virtuous circular economy.

Definitely a step in the right direction!

Swedish company Trelleborg has launched low-friction thermoplastic composite bearings!

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions launched its latest lightweight thermoplastic composite bearing, the HiMod Advanced Composite Bearing Plus, an enhanced dual-layer bearing with a low-friction modified polyetheretherketone (PEEK) layer that reduces friction and increases wear performance for use in bearing, wear ring and bushing applications.

Manufactured using Trelleborg’s patented automated fiber placement (AFP) technology, a thin low-friction liner is bonded to the inner diameters and can be added to the outer diameters of the bearing to create a high-quality solution for use in a wide range of industries. According to the company, HiMod Advanced Composite Bearing Plus will not seize or gall, unlike metal bearings, to reduce the likelihood of pump damage in chemical processing applications, has a low coefficient of friction and can withstand extreme temperature ranges.

The company says the bearings can operate from a low temperature of -156ºC to +274ºC and are capable of continuous service even when wet, with nearly zero water absorption. Unlike other non-metal bearings, Trelleborg’s solution reportedly doesn’t crack or swell in extreme conditions, making them reliable for a wide range of applications.

Interested to know more about this project? Check out this link:

Now, let’s talk about the usage of carbon fiber composites in the marine industry:

Carbon fiber composite hydrofoils to enable “world’s fastest” electric ferry!

The Candela P-12 Shuttle is a hydrofoiling electric ferry set to hit the waters of Stockholm, Sweden, next year. Marine technology company Candela claims the ferry will be the world’s fastest, longest-range and most energy-efficient electric ship yet. The Candela P-12 Shuttle is expected to reduce emissions and slash commuting times, and will shuttle up to 30 passengers at a time between the suburb of Ekerö and the city center. With a speed of up to 30 knots and a range of up to 50 nautical miles per charge, the shuttle is expected to travel faster — and more energy efficiently — than the diesel-powered bus and subway lines currently servicing the city.

Candela says the key to the boat’s high speed and long range will be the ferry’s three carbon fiber/epoxy composite wings that extend from under the hull. These active hydrofoils enable the ship to lift itself above the water, decreasing drag.

The P-12 Shuttle features carbon fiber/epoxy wings, hull, deck, inner structures, foil struts and rudder built via resin infusion. The foil system that actuates the foils and holds them in place is made from sheet metal. According to Mikael Mahlberg, communications and PR manager at Candela, the decision to use carbon fiber for most of the boat’s main components was lightness — the overall result is a roughly 30% lighter boat compared to a glass fiber version. “[This weight reduction] means we can fly longer and with heavier loads”, Mahlberg says.


Our last story covers the usage of composite materials in the eVTOL industry:

Horizon Aicraft completes the construction of composites intensive 50%-scale prototype eVTOL aircraft!

Horizon Aircraft Inc., an advanced aerospace engineering company, has announced that it has successfully completed the construction of its 50%-scale “Cavorite X5” electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype. Jason O’Neill, Horizon Aircraft chief operating officer (COO), told CW that the hybrid-electric aircraft could not have been built without its advanced composites team led by Kirk Creelman.

Horizon’s approach and technology enables the five-seat aircraft to fly 98% of its mission in a low-drag configuration like a traditional aircraft. Flying most of the time as a normal aircraft is also safer and should make the aircraft easier to certify than radical new eVTOL designs, the company believes. The full-scale aircraft will also be powered by a hybrid-electric system that can recharge the battery array in-flight while providing additional system redundancy. Comprehensive testing of this 50%-scale aircraft will reduce technical risk moving forward as Horizon continues development of its full-scale aircraft.

With a 22-foot wingspan, 15 feet in length and capable of speeds over 250 kilometers per hour, this 50%-scale prototype is an impressive aircraft,” Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft, says. “Furthermore, it will yield valuable information that will help to reduce technical risk as we move forward with detailed design of our full-scale aircraft.”