Design and Optimization of Natural Fiber Composites as a Replacement for Endangered Wood Species used in Musical Instruments

Student: Arun Duraisamy – Master Thesis Student

Supervisor: Prof. Larry Lessard

The goal of this research is to develop new methods for the design and optimization of natural fiber composites in order to imitate the essential properties of endangered wood species.

Acoustic guitars have traditionally been made with several endangered wood types, including Rosewood (for the fingerboard, sides, back and bridge), Mahogany (for the neck), Bois de Rose (for the bridge), and Ebony (for the fingerboard and/or bridge). To address this problem, we explore an emerging class of natural fiber materials (hemp, flax and other suitable fibers) that has great potential for structural applications like musical instruments because of its unique mechanical properties.