The researchers believe that these hybrid materials can substitute carbon and glass fibers in the automotive, aerospace and marine industries.
Dr Hom Nath Dhakal, who leads the Research Group at the university, said: “We are working to address the key challenges of using natural reinforced composites for structural and semi-structural applications. The impact of this work could be extremely significant because these lightweight alternatives could help reduce the weight of vehicles, contributing to less fuel consumption and fewer C02 emissions.”
The hybrids made from natural and basalt fibers are sustainable, biodegradable, easy to recycle, and can be produced using less energy than glass and carbon fibers.
The study findings that looked at the structure, physio-chemical and mechanical properties of date palm fibres were published in ‘Composites Science and Technology’ and ‘Composite Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing.’
Dr Dhakal also says that hybrid composite solutions will be the way forward for natural fiber composites.