Circuit boards are typically made of an epoxy-fiberglass composite which is then printed with wires and circuits. In Woll’s project, soybean oil would replace the epoxy and chicken feathers the fiberglass, creating a more eco-friendly composite.
Wool receives the feathers after they have been converted into keratin mats that resemble paper towels. They are then layered on top of one another into a mold, and infused with a soybean resin that hardens. The material is then put through the circuit-printing process to become a circuit board.
Other possible applications for the feathers include composite materials for the construction (hurricane-resistant roofing, termite-proof building materials) and the automotive industries (dashboards, door panels etc.), medical applications (for bone repairs and as skin patches to deliver medicine.)
Wool also plans to use the feathers to make a carbon fiber ideal for automotive applications, and even the manufacture of tennis rackets and golf clubs.