Carmakers have been using natural fibres for decades in high-end sedans and coupes. Natural fibers such as hemp, flax and wood are used in interior door panels; as well as engine, interior and noise insulation.
But such natural fibre polymer composite materials can crack, break and bend.
Researchers from the University of Johannesburg have shown that plantain pseudo-stems is a promising renewable source for an emerging type of lighter nanocomposite materials for the automotive industry. Reducing a vehicle's mass can improve fuel efficiency.