Materials scientists always try to develop new composite materials or combinate some composites in way to understand if they might work together so that the useful properties of one component enhance those of the other and vice versa. Often, the use of computation and modelling can help to calculate the likely outcomes of combining certain components.
Recently, a group of researchers formed by Divakara Rao and Udaya Kiran of the J.B. Institute of Engineering and Technology, in Hyderabad, and Eshwara Prasad of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University also in Hyderabad, reveals a mathematical model that can be used to optimize a novel composite for tensile strength. The material is made from the synthetic polymer, polyester, and human hair as a reinforcing component. The article was published in the «International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering».
The researchers prepared polymer-based composites using chopped fibres of human hair at between 5 and 25 percent by weight and with fibre lengths of 10 to 50 millimetres. They collected data from tensile strength testing of these experimental composites, and used these data to build a model that might then help to improve the formulation of new composites.
Given the need for novel composites with new properties and a need to reduce our reliance on petrochemicals and invoke the use of renewable materials, brushing up on hair science in this context makes complete sense. There are, of course, many other natural fibres that might also be incorporated into semi-synthetic composites for a wide range of materials science and engineering applications.
Source: Phys.org – The news is adapted with editorial change made by Compositi magazine.