Translucent wood may one day replace glass in windows I showed A new study is a way to make wood transparent without using massive amounts of energy in the process.
And she was Previous experiences To do this, it is energy-intensive and uses harmful chemicals.
Humans have used wood for millions of years to build homes and ships, as a source of fuel for burning, and it is a renewable resource, and a way to capture excess carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere.
Wood is not used to make windows. Instead, we rely on glass and plastic, which are transparent and can provide structural support when strengthened.
Buildings lose a lot of heat through glass, and while light can bring some heat through the materials, it is not a good insulator, andThis is why we need double glazing, and on the other hand, the wood is very insulating but opaque.
In recent years, materials scientists have been experimenting with making wood transparent Making the wood transparent, while retaining its high mechanical properties, provides a good alternative to glass from a sustainable and renewable source.
Wood’s lack of transparency comes from a combination of two main components, cellulose and lignin, as lignin absorbs light, while wood fibers are made of cellulose, which are hollow, tube-like structures.
The air in these hollow tubes disperses the light, which further reduces the transparency of the material.
It included previous experiences to make the wood transparent Removal Lignin completely out of the structure and replaced with a resin.
Lignin removal requires many environmentally harmful chemicals, as well decrease Significantly weaker the mechanical properties of the material.
The new study, by researchers at the University of Maryland, shows how to make wood transparent using a simple chemical – hydrogen peroxide – commonly used to bleach hair.
This chemical modifies chromophores, which are compounds that activate with light and make wood appear brown, and change their structure so that they do not absorb light and color the wood.
The chemical can be sprayed onto the wood and then activated with light to produce a bright white substance.
The chemical reaction of wood with hydrogen peroxide is the basis for bleaching wood pulp used in making paper.
This chemical reaction is one of the reasons why the paper is so white, as opposed to Another reason is the pores or holes in the structure that scatter light, just like the hollow cellulose fibers in wood.
Filling these fibers with resin reduces this dispersion, allowing light to pass through the wood and making it transparent, while retaining its original mechanical properties.
This approach can be applied to large chunks of material, producing transparent building materials and providing a real potential for glass substitution.
And more work is needed to improve interaction with wood and incorporate it into an automated industrial process, but one day, in the future, you may be sitting in a house or working in a building with wooden windows.