Transparent wood that could replace glass in windows

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Swedish researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a form of 'transparent wood' that could be used to build windows in future.
    The material could be used in place of patterned glass to give rooms more privacy, letting light through but not being entirely transparent.
    The new wood could also be ideal for solar panels, since it's a low-cost, readily available and renewable resource, which becomes particularly important in covering large surfaces with solar cells.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/scientists-have-developed-transparent-wood-that-092141044.html
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't the lignin the stuff that protects the wood from fungal and bacterial attack?
     
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  5. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    See-through wood is now a thing.
    Researchers at the University of Maryland also pulled away color and chemicals from a block of wood to leave it impressively see-through. The result is a material that is both stronger and more insulating than glass, with better biodegradability than plastic.
    The researchers first boiled the wood in water, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals for roughly two hours. This flushes out lignin, the molecule responsible for giving wood its color. The team then poured epoxy over the block which makes the wood four to five times stronger, although it makes it all a little less environmentally-friendly in the process.

    http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/16/see-through-wood/
     
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  7. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    OK, so here's the deal. Their limitation is the size of the block, they say.

    SO, use small wood chips. Glue them together under pressure, and voila, you have clear plywood. My invention.
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I'm still not sure that "better" biodegradability is what I'm looking for, or want to be looking through, in my windows.

    It they've invented a window that termites can eat and mushrooms can grow on, that is impressive, but - - -
     
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  9. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    May be a thin light transparent layer(of plastic or others) can be use that will protect the wood from fungal and bacterial attack when people will use it.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    The material is translucent, not transparent.
    Ordinary paper is mainly cellulose too. If wet with oil, it matches their claims. So what is the big deal? Translucent materials, like skins, have been used for thousands of years to keep heat in / wind out and let light inside.
     
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  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That's the Swedish team's.

    The Maryland team's product is apparently transparent - at least, there's a link picture of text readable through it.
     
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    What is link? I bet the "readable text" is essentially in contact with their product. You can read not too small text thru other translucent thin sheets as the scattering is usually only small angles, but viewing something more than 5 feet away is blured image.

    BTW lignin has been extracted from wood for decades. That industry has this comment on lignin:
    "You can make anything with lignin, except money."
     

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