New Method Makes Transparent Wood Like Glass And 50 Times Stronger Than Before

Dhir Acharya - Feb 09, 2021


New Method Makes Transparent Wood Like Glass And 50 Times Stronger Than Before

Researchers found a new method that makes transparent wood much stronger than the one created in a conventional way. The method is easy to scale up as well.

With the aim of making wood stronger and lighter than glass, a group of researchers from the University of Maryland has come up with a way to make wood transparent. The new method is believed to outdo the previous techniques and will bring the world one step closer to an energy-efficient future.

The newly published paper details how the researchers made wood transparent, the result of which was found to be 50 times stronger than the transparent wood created in a conventional way.

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While the concept of making wood transparent has been around for a long time, it hasn’t become a commercial product because of the conventional method, in which chemicals are used to remove lignin, a basic ingredient of wood. This method has several downsides including being time-consuming and excessive liquid waste disposed of in the production. In addition, the lack of lignin in the resulting transparent wood makes it weak and brittle.

On the other hand, the new method keeps lignin while making wood transparent, costs less, and can be done even in your backyard. Instead of removing the ingredient, the researchers changed it by applying hydrogen peroxide on the surface of the wood and exposing it to natural sunlight or UV light.

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Then, the wood was soaked in ethanol for further cleaning and the researchers filled the pores with tough transparent epoxy to smooth it.

The result is transparent wood that’s 50 times stronger than conventional clear wood and allows 90% of light to pass through. It looks like glass but owns the flexibility and strength of wood. According to the researchers, this method can be scaled up easily and used for roofs and windows in the future.

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