New super wood is stronger than most metals
Feb. 9, 2018 – Natural wood has been used to build structures for centuries, but it has its limitations. Even after pre-treatment, temperature changes like extreme heat can make wood expand causing it to weaken.
A team of scientists at the University of Maryland came up with a two-step process to help natural wood overcome those barriers since it is a cheap and preferred building material all over the world.
Their solution involves the partial removal of lignin and hemicellulose from the natural wood followed by hot-pressing to completely densify the natural wood and increase its strength tenfold.
“Our processed wood has a specific strength higher than that of most structural metals and alloys, making it a low-cost, high-performance, lightweight alternative,” the scientists wrote in their academic article published in the science journal Nature.