Virginia Tech Receives Grant for Additive Manufacturing Project

Montgomery County, VA Virginia Tech recently reported that researchers at the Virginia Tech College of Engineering were awarded $2 million of a $72 million Department of Energy grant to innovate manufacturing and accelerate the deployment of wind and water energy technologies.

The project will focus on additive manufacturing techniques and applied materials that will help reduce the environmental footprint used in building wind turbine blades. The team will develop a new polymer composite material that is completely recyclable and 3D printable. According to the article “wind turbine blades are made at off-site production facilities using large molds that require long lead times. Once those blades are fabricated, they then take a long and costly journey to their often-remote destination by way of semi-truck.” The new printing technology will provide a way to produce the blades near the location of the wind turbine while eliminating the use of hazardous materials in the manufacturing process.

L.S. Randolph Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Chris Williams, who is helping lead the team, said, “our proposed project is looking to dramatically reduce waste, completely eliminate all hazardous materials, and enable 3D printing of a completely recyclable wind turbine.”

Read the full article from Virginia Tech here.

Virginia’s New River Valley has a robust additive manufacturing industry and is trailblazing new technologies that will transform the future. Discover how the NRV is a natural fit for additive manufacturing and applied materials here.

Photo by Minku Kang on Unsplash


Virginia’s New River Valley:
Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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