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Cutting windmill blades

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by KSSS, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I am bidding a project to cut and haul off two windmill blades. The blades are 130' long, and made of 4" fiberglass. It is hollow until the end of the blades. They weigh 10,200 pounds per blade. Trying to come up with a way of cutting these down. The landfill wants them in 16' sections, so there are a lot of cuts. I am not excited about putting a guy on a demo saw trying to cut these. He would need a breathing protection and it would dangerous. I have a high flow asphalt cutter that might work. Shears would work but I don't have one and it would be slow. I saw some vidoes of tree shears that rotate up and down that might work. Anyone done this before and have some ideas?
     
  2. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    I wonder what an asphalt pizza cutter roller would do to them? I've seen sawmills with a bandsaw that will cut to length the whole truckload of logs on the trailer, not real practical here, and you'd need carbide to make it through. Maybe a track for the demo saw to give the operator some where safer to stand and guide the saw ? carbide teeth not abrasive wheels obviously.
     
  3. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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    What about an oxygen lance?
    I've cut concrete before with one?
     
  4. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Fbgls, BAD Juju throwing tons of dust around cutting with rotary saws. Buy a sheet of 3/4" or 1" steel set the blades on a set of concrete blocks sharpen a long edge to a dull point and drop the sheet on them with a small crane like a guillotine.

    BTW, this is how they cut up scrap aircraft in Tucson.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  5. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    4 Inch fiberglass will take quite a hit to shatter.

    This is an interesting project. Just another side to renewable energy. I've read that turbines getting to the end of their life are scrapped rather than rebuilt because the tax credits only apply to new installations.

    Please update us on the disposal.
     
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  6. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Maybe weld up a couple guides out of some angle iron, one at each end of steel sheet and put a couple hard wood planks under the blades to protect the guillotine cutting edge.

    Or for some more ideas:

     
  7. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Even with slots or holes for lifting bridle, with just the sheet 1" 4x10' looking well over 1500lbs. Dropped on edge from say ten feet I do not think the glass will sustain the damage.
     
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  8. Labparamour

    Labparamour Senior Member

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    Since just two blades-16 cuts per blade (8 per side). Rotary saw, tyvek suit, filter mask, fire hose for dust/fiber suppression...?

    I thought the same things- so much for “green.” :confused:
     
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  9. chroniekon

    chroniekon Senior Member

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    Just thinking out loud here. Do they make hand held or portable water jet cutters?
     
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  10. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    That would be some cleaner.
     
  11. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    The water jet would keep dust down. I will look into that. As these blades start to fatigue, I suspect this project will become more the norm. There are countless windmills here now and they are starting to be replaced. Wouldn't be a bad niche gig if a guy can come up with a way of doing this somewhat economically. I cant tell if its 4" all the way to the end, but it absolutely is where they bolt up to the turbine. Landfill sure was not interested in getting more of these (they have had one in the past) as they have a real problem dealing with them at the landfill, hence the 16' lengths and I have to separate the ring section where they bolt to the turbine. I was hoping for a way to do this mechanically, preferably excavator mounted, but that may not be possible.
     
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  12. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    What about something similar to the cable setup marine salvage operations use? It’s slow so dust shouldn’t be terrible compared to a faster operating speed of an abrasive setup.

    Miller might be on to something. If the blade was blocked up each side of the anticipated point of impact I bet something sharp and heavy enough would make a fairly clean break. Nothing that a little manipulation with a hoe and thumb couldn’t finish off.
     
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  13. Labparamour

    Labparamour Senior Member

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    If you’re talking about a bunch, what about a forestry machine- hotsaw-type setup?
    Some have blade, some saw chain...
    Maybe someone on the forestry side could say if it’d work.
     
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  14. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    How big diameter are the blades where they attach to the turbine? From the one's I've been around, I was thinking they were like 4-5' diameter, but that was a really small turbine I put up as a display in the early 2000's, I know the new ones are much larger.
     
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  15. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Largest ones I have seen blade root area can be close to 12' wide.
     
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  16. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    What about a gas powered cut off saw with garden hose attached for dust suppression? Or a pneumatic grinder with water hose? I've used both set ups for grinding out concrete, mortar or demo work inside buildings. They're fast, easily set up, and the hose does wonders for the dust.

    Find the right blade to hack through the fiberglass and away you go.
     
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  17. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    What about the shears that the steel scrappers use? I know years ago we had an outfit come in and chop up a bunch of scrap steel around the quarry. Their's were mounted on the end of an excavator and seem to recall they worked just like a thumb on an excavator.
     
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  18. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    That's my thinking. If it's a one off job, maximize profit by embracing the suck. You're in Idaho so the temperatures should be more favorable than here.
     
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  19. chroniekon

    chroniekon Senior Member

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    Repurpose them! Cut them in thirds, stand then on end, line them up side by side, and there's you a border wall, eventually. And decorative at that.
     
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  20. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    A mobile cutter would surely qualify as a niche. Hopefully very profitable. Travel to the site and cut the blades to a manageable size for transport and ultimate disposal.

    Long-blade-making-a-turn.jpg
     
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