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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Green Cars from Fruits are in the Making

Monday, April 4, 2011
A team at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil claims to have developed a more effective way to use fiber from plants to make a new generation of automotive plastics. The fibers that come from delicate fruits like bananas and pineapples will make the plastic stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics in use says team leader Alcides Leao.

Some of these nano-cellulose fibers are almost as stiff as Kevlar, which is used to make armor and bulletproof vests. Kevlar and other plastics which are made from petroleum are not eco friendly, whereas the nano-cellulose fibers are. “The properties of these plastics are incredible. They are light, but very strong, 30 percent lighter and 3-4 times stronger than plastic. We believe that a lot of car parts, including dashboards, bumpers, side panels, will be made of nano-sized fruit fibers in the future. For one thing, they will help reduce the weight of cars and that will improve fuel economy,” says Leao.

He added that nano-cellulose reinforced plastics also have mechanical advantages over conventional auto- motive plastics, which include more resistance to damage from heat, spilled gasoline, water, and oxygen.
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