Brazilian researchers have used pineapple and banana fibers to make very strong plastic car bodies, and car parts from these fibers could be in use in vehicles in less than two years.
Dr Alcides Leao, from Sao Paulo State University, used cellulose fibers to strengthen plastics, telling the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California that, “They are light, but very strong - 30 per cent lighter and three to four times stronger than regular plastic.”
Many plastic components, such as dashboards, bumpers and side panels, can be made using the fruit fiber filled plastic, reducing vehicle weight and thereby improving fuel economy. The fruit-filled plastics resist heat, solvent (petrol), water, and oxygen (ageing) better than regular plastics. Some of the fibers are almost as strong as Kevlar, which is used in lightweight body armor and bulletproof vests.
Just like fiberglass, the fruit fibers strengthen the plastic, and one pound (or 1kg) of cellulose fibers produce 100lb (or 100kgs) of lightweight, high-strength plastic. The strength to weight ratio of these plastics, could see them used instead of some steel and aluminum components. Other applications for these plastics include bio-medical implants for valves, ligaments and hip joints.
Via Daily Mail UK