With the snow sports season in full swing, my attention was caught by a bit of news from the University of Sheffield's AMRC Composite Centre. A group of young researchers working at the Composite Centre have built two prototype snowboards from flax, cashew nut husks and recycled plastic. Naturally, they also had to personally test whether they really worked.
The AMRC Composite Centre started working with biocomposites as part of E-light, a collaborative European project to investigate new lightweight materials for electric vehicles. According to the website, the main objective of E-Light project is "to develop an innovative multi-material modular architecture specifically designed for electric vehicles, achieving optimal light weight and crashworthy performances while ensuring ergonomics on board." Low-weight, high-strength epoxy resin matrix composite materials filled with carbon or glass fit the bill perfectly, but their eco-friendly credentials leave something to be desired...