Feb 12, 2018 | 13:45 / Interesting information
Titanium alloys are perhaps one of the most durable materials on our planet. But they have two extremely unpleasant disadvantages: they are too heavy and very expensive. Scientists from the University of Maryland (UMD) came up with an alternative to expensive metals, which can literally "grow on trees." Using an innovative compaction process, the team of researchers managed to create an incredibly solid wood with metal strength.
The new super wood has gained its strength thanks to a two-stage process developed by Hu's team. First, the researchers boil the samples of wood in the mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphite. This makes it possible to partially get rid the tree of lignin and hemicellulose. After that, the wood is subjected to hot pressing, which destroys the cell walls and allows the formation of high-level nanofibers of cellulose inside the material. The final result of this process is compacted wood.
The new way of processing wood allows you to make it 12 times stronger and 10 times more rigid.