This bench preserves the composite material’s structural value by cutting panels directly from a used wind turbine blade.
The slotted bench was made to explore the concept of structural reuse: reuse of structural material rather than reprocessing and recycling the composite. The parts of the bench were cut from a decommissioned wind turbine blade. Blades are made of glassfibre reinforced polyester (fibreglass) with a wooden core, and have a protective white coating. When cutting the blades, the inner wooden core becomes exposed on the edges.
The design is optimised for recycling or reuse of the material as such: No additional adhesives or fasteners are needed for assembly. However, this does leave the wooden core exposed to the environment. Water (rain) and UV exposure (solar radiation) may degrade the composite material. A protective coating needs to be applied to protect these materials. This illustrates how choices made in the initial design as well as the secondary design affect how the product can be used, and reused again.
The drawings of the bench are available for download below, so that everyone with a piece of wind turbine blade and a waterjet cutter at hand can make their own bench. Let me know if you plan to make one!