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Smart Textiles researcher behind unique biocomposite

Behnaz Baghaei, researcher at Smart Textiles, has developed a biocomposite  which is stronger than other known biocomposites, easier to produce and one hundred percent biologically degradable.

The biocomposite is a textile material, quite unique in its composition; strong, light and, best of all, environmentally friendly. The optimal composition for Behnaz’s composite in terms of strength was found to be hemp and corn, and the material is intended to, for example, be used in the construction industry, in relatively low-load-bearing applications.

A lightweight that carries weight
The material is also light in terms of weight – much moreso than, for example, glass fibre composites – making it also of interest to the automotive industry. A light and, in addition, biologically degradable material such as this biocomposite can help to reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles and facilitate their compliance with environmental standards through making them lighter.

Cost-effective production
– As the weave in its present form can be pressed into a composite material, we will be able to skip one step in the production process as compared to other biocomposites, Behnaz Baghaei says.
The normal procedure when producing composites is to press layer after layer of materials together. Behnaz’s biocomposite consists of one layer, and so production is more cost-effective.

* Polylactic Acid: (PLA), A polyester made of renewable resources; in Behnaz’s biocomposite, PLA is made using corn.

** Composites are artificially compounded materials composed of two or more components, each of which have entirely different properties. Combining the components of a composite results in the creation of a new material with new properties.