You could have never imagined that transparent wood will arrive someday to replace your brittle glass at home. Besides that it could create energy-saving windows, this special type of wood will make your house crystal-clear. What's more to know behind this great innovation?
How Transparent Wood Window is Made
Creating transparent wood is primarily initiated through soaking its entire body to a chemical compound used in making toothpaste and bleach, the sodium chlorite.The compound will get rid of lignin, an organic polymer found in plants. It is present in woods to make them more rigid and less exposed to rotting.
Although this process is the usual way of generating transparency to wood, it will only prolong the process due to a large volume of chemicals being used. It also generates liquid waste that is difficult to recycle that can contribute to the fragility of the wood, as per an article by New Scientist.
Now, there's a much more effective way to create transparent wood by applying hydrogen peroxide on the wood surface. This will remove the dirt and stains on it and it will be dried out in the process.
The next thing is to expose it to UV light which will resemble the sunlight on a natural basis. Afterward, soak the UV-lit wood in ethanol and put a clear epoxy in every pore of it. The transparent wood is guaranteed to be stronger and lighter than regular glass plus it is a better insulator than it.
Through the process, lignin is structurally-altered to make the wood transparent. Lignin makes the wood more opaque and more compact so no light could pass through it, as said by the University of Maryland researchers.
The researchers from the University of Maryland said the process alters a structural component of wood called lignin that prevents light from passing through the material.
The see-through wood as the end-product will be a good heat insulator as proven by the American Chemical Society in 2019. It could release heat and store heat as well. What's more interesting with the transparent wood is it is also biodegradable and disposable.
Moreover, it is more than 50 times stronger when the wood's lignin is entirely exterminated and it is clearly transparent which allows more than 90 percent of light to enter through it.
"The transparent wood is lighter and stronger than glass," leading researcher Liangbing Hu said. The professor at the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute added that the transparent wood is possible to make your 'see-through' house through roofs and windows which can be modified to suit the environment and your home, Independent reported.
Furthermore, Hu, together with other authors, posted their research in the journal Science Advances which concluded that transparent wood helps in generating energy-efficient structures.
The popularity of transparent could still take a long way however a Paris startup Woodo, makes wood to produce translucent displays. Their product is stronger than a regular wood thrice, and it is also fire-resistant.
Another great innovation perfect for home
Besides transparent wood, scientists also created environment-friendly bricks made out of the mushroom. This product is said to be a good replacement for the modern bricks that we have at home since it can hold heat and it is also biodegradable in the process.
With the creation of transparent wood and mushroom bricks, we could now build an eco-friendly house without harming the environment. The lesser energy is expelled to the surroundings, the less harm we could create for our nature to be happier than before.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Joen Coronel