Lightweight rotor blades made from plastic foams for offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines are becoming ever larger, and the transportation, installation, disassembly and disposal of their gigantic rotor blades are presenting operators with new challenges. Fraunhofer researchers have partnered with industry experts to develop highly durable thermoplastic foams and composites that make the blades lighter and recyclable. Thanks to their special properties, the new materials are also suitable for other lightweight structures, for instance in the automotive sector. The first demonstrators will be on display at the K 2016 trade fair in Düsseldorf from October 19 to 26.

The trend toward ever larger offshore wind farms continues unabated. Wind turbines with rotor blades measuring up to 80 meters in length and a rotor diameter of over 160 meters are designed to maximize energy yields. Since the length of the blades is limited by their weight, it is essential to develop lightweight systems with high material strength. The lower weight makes the wind turbines easier to assemble and disassemble, and also improves their stability at sea. In the EU’s WALiD (Wind Blade Using Cost-Effective Advanced Lightweight Design) project, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal are working closely with ten industry and research partners on the lightweight design of rotor blades (see box). By improving the design and materials used, they hope to reduce the weight of the blades and thus increase their service life.

Read more.


Thermoplastic Pricing Guide and Behavior Cheat Sheet

 -These prices are based off of US stores and shipping rates. These prices are consistent across many websites and discounts are offered on bulk orders. Prices vary depending on shipping country.

*Sintra is offered in many sizes and shapes. The prices listed are from . More sizes than these exist. Sintra is a company name for foamed PVC. You can often find cheaper sheets of “sintra” by looking for “foamed PVC” or “extruded PVC”

* Worbla

-  The most well-known thermoplastic in the cosplay community. Available from multiple vendors online and from a few physical stores.
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Most expensive of the thermoplastics
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture



-  Only sold by Tandy Leather. If you live near a store this product has the benefit of no shipping costs and the ability to pick up same day its needed
-  Thermoplastic capable of multidimensional shaping
-  Has no internal mesh
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Capable of reusing scraps by reheating them
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  “knockoff” of Worbla, if you have Tandy Leather membership cards, it makes it a fair bit cheaper than Worbla
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture
-  Has a scent, smells like graham crackers when heated


-  Contains an internal mesh
-  The mesh provides additional stability to thermoplastic
-  Can be heated with a hair dryer or heat gun (better results from heat gun)
-  Smooth adhesive side/rough exterior side – can adhere to itself
-  Internal mesh prevents multidimensional shaping without puckering
-  (mesh can be picked out- extremely work intensive)
-  Relatively thin, often requires a supporting material in armor (craft foam sandwich)
-  Requires priming (wood glue, gesso, ect.) to remove texture


-  Comes in a variety of thicknesses
-  A UNIDEMNSIONAL material. Is incapable of making compound shapes – i.e. can only bend in one direction without cutting darts.
-  Can be brittle if cut when cool or across large pieces of material
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun or large heat source like an oven to work with uniformly
-  Does not adhere to itself. Requires glue to bond pieces together
-  Smooth texture doesn’t require priming like Worbla, Terraflex, or Wonderflex
- Due to variety of thicknesses, it can be used on its own for armor pieces (no foam sandwiches)
-  Cheapest of the thermoplastics, but limited in some areas. Great for things like pauldrons and vambraces, not so much with breastplates and curves.
-  Because it is PVC, it is strongly recommended to wear a respirator and have ventilation when heating this material due to fumes.

* Transpa Art

-  Transparent thermoplastic
-  Needs to be heated with a heat gun and only workable within a small temperature range
-  Does not adhere it itself like other thermoplastics. Requires cyanoacrylate glues to stick pieces together.
-  Not a strong as Worbla, Terraflex, ect.
-  Cannot be reformed with scraps
-  Great for accents and LED applications
-  Elemental Photography and Design, and Kamui Cosplay do excellent videos showing more of how Transpa behaves


Worbla’s Finest Art vs. Worbla’s Black Art

View full size on DeviantArt here:

I created this comparison and break down of the differences between Worbla’s Finest Art and Worbla’s Black Art in a format similar to my tutorials.  I hope it is helpful!

Check out my Worbla tutorial:

You can purchase Worbla’s Finest Art and Black Art here:

If there is anything that is confusing or needs to be clarified in this tutorial, let me know so I can make it better!

I would love to see anything made with this tutorial!  Send me the link to finished projects so that I can add it to the DeviantArt description.

Social Media links:




Don’t have the money for transparent worbla? Well I have got a tip for you. Clear PETG plastic (I used .02 thickness) works just as well and I might argue that I had better results than with the worbla. The left is the transparent worbla. The right is PETG. They are roughly the same as far as temperature go. I would say the price difference is around $25, so it’s worth checking into. You can find PETG on ebay or amazon and probably other places too.

How to Create Breastplates with Worbla by KamuiCosplay

View the full tutorial here:


I’ve been asked a few times about how I smoothed out my Magic Armor Link Worbla armor before painting, so I decided it’s about time I did a mini tutorial on it! Be prepared for a long text post!

After trying numerous techniques for smoothing Worbla, I settled on Flexbond as my favorite.

Keep reading


Using Thibra to Create a Gauntlet

Other than the image I shared before, this is my first attempt at using Thibra, and it shows how easy it is. I am NOT claiming to be an expert, I am just learning with this stuff and I am sure I’ll figure out things that work better as well as mistakes as I go along. I just want to share my own experiences, since I’m super excited about this stuff and am planning to use it in a costume I’m making this summer for DragonCon!

I am really excited to see what everyone makes with their Thibra, do let me know so I can see it!

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer! I purchased mine from Arda Wigs, and yes, it is cheaper than Worbla, price varying depending on the size of sheet that you purchase! I did try to speed up much of the video so this wasn’t too long, it still ended up over 15 minutes, sorry for the short attention-spanned!



Couture Outfit “The Crown Princess”

“The Crown Princess” is a richly embroidered couture outfit, consisting of an underbust corset panty, a matching neck corset and strapless bra.

The corset pieces are made from sheer strong mesh and are elaborately decorated with synthetic leather cutwork, silver beads and Swarovski crystals.

The epaulettes and hip pieces are made from sturdy thermoplast and are also decorated with beads and Swarovski crystals, as well as silver metal spikes.

Royal Black Couture and Corsetry (x)


Wrought Plastic Corset

Once again, I decided about a month before the deadline to enter the Foundations Revealed competition. Because inspiration always strikes at the last possible minute.

I opted to use the theme “Intersection of Light, Black and White” rather than the historical pattern. I’ve been meaning to play with thermoplastic corsets for a long time now but had never had quite the right project as an excuse or the funds available. I finally gave in, especially once I read the prompt and it mentioned wrought iron as a potential source of inspiration. Wrought iron is a serious weakness of mine, and I’ve always found it incredibly beautiful and inspirational, so I decided to run with that in combination with a clear thermoplastic.

I wanted to play with how the transparency of the base corset would combine with the decoration and the wearer’s skin tone. The fact that with the plastic I can get a completely transparent result, in comparison to the more standard corsetry mesh that not only has color but also needs boning channels, means greater influence of the wearer on the appearance of the actual garment, which I’m excited to explore with different models. In the case of a belted overlayer, it creates the illusion that just the decoration is doing the cinching, which is a really cool effect when viewed from a distance. 

I took the opportunity to also play with my new corsetry form! I draped a pattern in paper, since it would act more like the final product than muslin would, and created the base corset out of clear thermoplastic.

The outer layer is a separate piece, made of another thermoplastic, wonderflex. I wanted the ability to be versatile, and the clear thermoplastic doesn’t have the self-adhering qualities of other thermoplastics, so attachment would have been difficult to hide given the transparency of the base layer. I’ve also made a couple of other outer layers that can be switched out, so it can be used for very different looks.

I really loved working with this material, and I can’t wait to explore it more! I’m already in process for a mini collection with it that’s going to play even more with the fun properties of the material. 

(Bottom picture credits: Model @hjsteele, Photographer @eye-ofa-panda)


Hey all! I recently had the opportunity to test out Thibra, the newest thermoplastic coming to the cosplay market! USA residents can pre-order it now from Arda Wigs, and if you’re curious, I made a video demonstration of my first experience working with it~!


Polyurethane foam expansion

Polyurethane (a polymer) foaming by the chemical reaction of two components: Isocyanate (the dark component in this video) and polyol containing chemical additives and blowing agents (the clear component). The chemical reaction generates heat- an exothermic reaction- which contributes to the expansion and final curing of the foam. The proportions and formulations of both products are defined according to the industrial application: flexible, semi-rigid or rigid foams. 

Typical flexible polyurethane foams: mattresses and automotive seating.

Typical semi-flexible polyurethane foam: steering wheels.

Typical rigid foam: insulation in household refrigerators.

video and blurb source