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Fruity nanofibers could make for super-strong plastics, banana-flavored body panels

Tim Stevens

Carbon fiber is still the material of choice for high-end components that need lots of strength without a lot of weight, but wouldn't life be better if those components were made of pineapple? Apparently, yes. At least that's the case according to Brazilian scientists led by Alcides Leão, who have created so-called nanofibers from the pulp of various fruits, including pineapple leaves and coconut shells. These are processed down to create nano-scale threads that, when added to plastics, form a composite 30 percent lighter than carbon fiber yet three or four times stronger. Healthier, too. No word on when this stuff might be in full production, but we look forward to cradling our future fruit-based gadgets.

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