Malaysian researchers have developed a resistant material capable of being transformed into structures used in drones: the fiber of pineapple leaves. According to the coordinator of the work, Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan, from the University of Putra, the new material has a resistance / weight ratio higher than that of synthetic fibers, it is cheaper and lighter.
Started in 2017, the Putra University project aimed to find sustainable uses for pineapple residues generated by farmers in the Hulu Langat region, near the capital Kuala Lumpur. The idea was that the garbage, whether burned or disposed of in the environment, could be sold.
The solution for pineapple waste
In a workshop, Mohamed Thariq revealed the solution to the Reuters agency: “We are turning the pineapple leaf into a fiber that can be used for aerospace applications, basically by inventing a drone.”
The prototype drones built with the new technology were able to fly at an altitude of about 1,000 meters, remaining in the air for 20 minutes. Currently, the team works on a larger model, capable of not only accommodating larger payloads, but also including image sensors, which can be used in agricultural mapping and aerial inspections.
In addition to the advantages initially disclosed by the researchers, Mohamed Thariq explained that if the structure of the drone is damaged, it can be fully buried and the biocomposite material will naturally degrade in two weeks.