Composite materials enable long lifetime and lightweight constructions. However, recycling remains a challenge. Much of the value of composites is in their composition; attempts to separate the fibres from the resin have so far only resulted in low grade materials. This Slotted Bench preserves the material’s structural value by cutting panels directly from a used wind turbine blade.
Blades are made of glassfibre reinforced polyester (fibreglass) with a wooden core, and are usually given a protective white coating for use. When cutting the blades, the inner wooden core becomes visible on the edges.
The design is optimised for reuse of the material as such, or recycling. No additional adhesives or fasteners are needed for assembly. However, this does leave the wooden core exposed to the environment. Water ingress may cause rotting and UV exposure degradation of the composite. Illustrating how choices made in the initial design as well as the secondary design affect how the product can be used, and reused again.