Engineers turned the wood into a durable transparent material, scattering and the insulating characteristics of which exceed the indicators of ordinary glass.
The structure of the tree has tiny nanoscale channels through which water and nutrients are transported by plant. The team of researchers from the University of Maryland decided to use this feature to improve the blocking ability of transparent wood.
Scientists have treated the fir block with chemicals, selectively removing lignin. This made the material transparent for the light, retaining the natural cellular structure and pattern.
Because of the remaining cell channels, sunlight can pass through the material only perpendicular, regardless of the angle of the fall, therefore it is sent to the same area all day. Painted stripes also reflect part of the incoming light.
The addition of epoxy resin significantly improves the thermal insulation characteristics of transparent wood, and also makes it stronger glass. The tests have shown that the new material is 2.5 times better blocks the heat and 3.5 times more stronger than untreated wood, and also perfectly blocks ultraviolet light. At the same time, it misses 80% of visible light during turbidity of 93%.
The pattern, shade and transparency depends on the tree of the tree and its age.
The development of such material last year also reported Swedish scientists, but the level of transparency of their material
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