Curran - the new Carbon Fibre - made from Carrots!
The humble carrot is set to be used in ways never imagined before, thanks to
a discovery by two Scottish scientists who have found a way to convert the
vegetable into an advanced material to make products from fishing rods to
The development is the brain-child of Dr David Hepworth and Dr Eric Whale, who have created the material, named Curran, at their company CelluComp in Burntisland, Fife. Their first product - a rod for fly fishing - is already on sale.
But they are not stopping there. The pair now plan to move on to make snowboards and car parts and say the material could also be used to make engineering components and even battleships.
The material is also more environmentally friendly than current methods using glass and carbon fibres.
Dr Hepworth said they believed Curran would be one of the major material innovations since the introduction of carbon fibre over 30 years ago.
At the moment, the company can make materials which are around 80 per cent carrot, with carbon fibre making up the remainder. The new "Just Cast" rods are around 50 per cent carrot - each made with around 2kg of the vegetables.
But it is hoped that as the technique is developed, they will eventually be able
to make products which are made from 100 per cent biological matter - carrots
and other plants.
Dr Hepworth said they were already looking at using other vegetables such as turnips, swede and parsnips. The inventor said the material was kinder to the environment because carrots are a renewable resource - unlike the oil used to make carbon fibres. And he said that when the material was burnt, the carbon it created was cancelled out by the carbon absorbed by the carrots when they were growing.
CURRAN - a carrot-based material - is manufactured using a top-secret method that has been five years in the making. Curran is Gaelic for Carrot
The process basically involves taking carrots and breaking them down into small particles using a special mechanical process.
The material is made through a top secret process, nano fibres found in carrots are extracted and combined with high tech resins enabling tough, durable components to be moulded to whatever shape, degree of stiffness, strength or lightness required. The strong nano-fibres from this carrot "soup" are then extracted so that they can be processed in a variety of ways.
Most of the water is removed and hi-tech resins are added to the mix.
This mixture can then be moulded and heated to make a strong material. The same technique could now be applied to other vegetables, such as turnips, swedes and parsnips. Can you imagine it? Driving around in cars that are eighty per cent carrot?
While the properties of other root vegetables work just as well, it is the carrot the scientists find most seductive." We've focused on carrots because there is a good local source of them in Fife and they are easy to process," explained Dr Hepworth.
"We also don't want to use prime vegetables because that would mean taking them away from the agricultural food sector." But around 30% of carrots get rejected, and local producers supply us with the secondary source not used for human consumption."
Through their company CelluComp Ltd, launched three years ago, the duo are initially enter the sporting goods market with the launch of a range of fishing rods. Dr Whale said: "We opted for the sporting goods market as it is more receptive to new materials.
Latest News: Rods Wins Best of Show!At the American Sportsfish Association 50th annual convention, ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportsfish Trade), the E21 Fishing rods scored major brownie points taking Best of Show for their E21 Carrot Stix and the E21 Fusion surf fishing rod won best salt water rod. That is quite a performance in the face of very stiff international competition.
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