Clear Wood Could One Day Replace Glass for Some Uses
Remember that moment in Star Trek 4 where Scotty’s fast typing reveals to the past the secret of transparent aluminum? And he looked so proud about it. Well, contemporary researchers may have outdone everyone’s favorite Enterprise engineer. Scientists have created transparent wood. Here’s more from SlashGear:
Transparent wood is created using wood from a fast-growing and low-density balsa tree treated using a room temperature oxidizing bath. That oxidizing bath leaves the wood virtually transparent. After the oxidizing bath, the wood is penetrated with a synthetic polymer called polyvinyl alcohol to create a virtually transparent product.
The researchers say that the natural cellulose in the wood structure and energy-absorbing polymer fill used in the transparent wood makes it more durable and lighter than glass. The materials can stand much stronger impacts, and if it does break, it bends or splinters instead of shattering.
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