UNT researchers and small businesses are collaborating to revolutionize the construction industry by developing natural alternatives to fiberglass and other non-biodegradable building materials.
Composite manufacturers, USDA farmers and Ladonia Market Center will work with UNT researchers to develop composite panels that use plant fibers in place of glass fibers.
Nandika D'Souza, professor of materials science and engineering, is overseeing the interdisciplinary team, which includes Yong Tao, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering and PACCAR professor of engineering; Michael Allen, assistant professor of biological sciences; and Vish Prasad, vice president for research and economic development.
The team's design and creation of the new composite materials and foams could be used in the construction industry, cars and aircraft. Their research is supported by a $600,000 National Science Foundation Partnership for Innovation program grant.