New ways to process wood to add strength and take advantage of the renewable nature of trees and forests continue to surface.
Scientists at the University of Maryland recently published a paper detailed tests where they boiled wood in a soup of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite to soften and partially dissolve some of the fiber before crushing it. The process produced a densified wood that is many time stronger and yet much thinner.
This combination opens up the potential for uses in new and different products, including car bodies. This article from the scientific journal Nature includes a slow-motion video, shown above, of metal shooting through natural wood and densified wood. [Read more…]