A new super strong plastic has been created by Brazilian scientists by using the fibres from bananas and pineapples. To reinforce and make it stronger and lighter, “nano”, ultra-thin fibres that are in the fruits were used by the researchers. With the material being 30% lighter and up to four times stronger than regular plastic according to Sao Paulo State University’s Dr. Alcides Leao.
The findings were presented in Anaheim, California at the 241st American Chemical Society meeting and the doctor said car parts such as side panels, bumpers and dashboards will be made of these strong nano-sized fruit fibres in the future reducing the weight of the cars and increasing fuel economy. They also have greater resistance to heat and spilled petrol, oxygen and water, adding to their advantage of regular plastics.
They should be available commercially in the next two ears since car manufacturers are testing them now. They material eventually could be used to replace parts made of steel and aluminum even tough it currently is designed just to be a replacement for automotive plastics.
There are even other nano-cellulose sources that are very promising that the team is working with and they include curaua, a plant related to pineapples that is farmed in South America and stems and leaves of pineapples as well.