Researchers say trees could help strengthen auto parts
Trees that are removed during forest restoration projects could find their way into car bumpers and fenders as part of a study led by Srikanth Pilla of Clemson University.
Pilla is converting some of those trees into liquid suspensions of tiny rod-like structures with diameters 20,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These tiny structures, known as cellulosic nanomaterials, are used to develop new composite materials that could be shaped into automotive parts with improved strength.
Pilla wants to use the composite materials he is creating to make bumpers and fenders that will be less likely to distort or break on impact.
“They will absorb the energy and just stay intact,” he said. “You won’t have to replace them because there will be no damage at all. Parts made with current materials might resist one impact. These will resist three or four impacts.”
Click here for source (Clemson University)
Image Credit: Clemson University