Corn Board Manufacturing Inc (CBMI), and the University of Illinois have entered a licence agreement for CBMI to commercially produce CornBoard panels, a structural composite made of corn husks that its inventors say can be used as a substitute for OSB or plywood.

CBMI’s ceo Lane Segerstrom said CBMI had been testing CornBoard for the last year and developing products to show its reliability of the material.

Ultimately, its producers want to see houses being built out of CornBoard, but they are starting in niche markets where they can meet the production demand, according to the university’s newspaper.

The board was invented by a team of scientists that includes Scott White, professor in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign; Nancy Sottos, professor in materials science and engineering; and Thomas Mackin, former university professor and current professor of mechanical engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Professor Mackin said the three scientists considered using corn husks because the material contains aligned fibres that can be used for structuring purposes.