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Super wood?

Super wood?

RE: Super wood?

I'd say the jury's still out on that one.

RE: Super wood?

Not convinced. Termites will still love it.

SLTA....thanks for posting, though...always good to know what's going on out there!

RE: Super wood?

Interesting ! Don't call me, I'll call you on this one.

RE: Super wood?

Why so negative?

It is clearly in initial stages but looks like it has some good prospects.

Will never replace steel but could be used for some beams and sheets maybe.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Super wood?

I would be interested in the energy input, compared to steel, needed to develop the material.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Super wood?

I certainly wouldn’t reject the new material/product out-of-hand. I’m almost always interested in seeing the improvement, new or better use of a renewable resource, etc. But, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump on the bandwagon either. It is for them to prove their products and manufacturing methods, to show that their products meet the needs and life expectancy of their intended uses. Over the last 20 years or so, we have seen a lot of new junk brought to market, without sufficient testing, history and thought about the details, just to gain market share, and then in 3-5 years it is falling off the bldg. and the company is out of business.

RE: Super wood?

I'm with both msquared48 and ghengr on this one. I think there are lots of areas where we can & should do better, but supposedly "green" products that cost multiples of what conventional materials cost to produce and use energy-intensive and chemically-laden processes cannot by definition be green. Cost = inputs = environmental footprint. Then, after you spent a ton of money on something because you bought the sales pitch, & it turns out to be only equal to, or not even equal to, some conventional product that costs a fraction, you've completely disproven the whole pitch. Does it last? Compared to what?
There are some great developments out there (acetylated wood www.accoya.com/) and I'm not dismissing anything out of hand, but neither am I buying it on the first say-so.

RE: Super wood?

I agree that this currently looks like proof of concept and they kind of gloss over the time taken and the types of chemicals used, but that's for the next development stage.

There have been many attempts at the next great thing and many fail because they try too hard to replace the existing standard bearer instead of concentrating on their own key areas. Cost, time, longevity, trying to create a recognized standard for some new material, issues over patents, licensing etc etc can all cause a promising idea to fail to become a recognized product, but you need to give them the initial benefit of the doubt. IMHO.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Super wood?

A seven hour sodium hydroxide/sodium sulphite pulping boil to remove lignin, followed by compression and heating. Ouch, that's going to be spendy...and not of much use for thick sections either.

RE: Super wood?

Two decades ago they used to have a product called Atomic Wood... it was a polymerised (by radiation) product. The following is a copy of part of an eMail from my programmer buddy.

"It's a new class of materials with great potential," says Li Teng, a mechanics specialist at the University of Maryland in College Park and a co-author of the study published on 7 February in Nature. Attempts to strengthen wood go back decades. Some efforts have focused on synthesizing new materials by extracting the nanofibres in cellulose -- the hard natural polymer in the tubular cells that funnel water through plant tissue. Li's team took a different approach: the researchers focused on modifying the porous structure of natural wood. First, they boiled different wood types, including oak, in a solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite for seven hours. That treatment left the starchy cellulose mostly intact, but created more hollow space in the wood structure by removing some of the surrounding compounds. These included lignin, a polymer that binds the cellulose. Then the team pressed the block -- like a panini sandwich -- at 100C (212F) for a day. The result: a wooden plank one-fifth the thickness, but three times the density of natural wood -- and 11.5 times stronger. Previous attempts to densify wood have improved the strength by a factor of about three to four.


RE: Super wood?

since the wood is compressed to 1/5 its original thickness, you get an effective stiffness increase on the compressed element of only 2-2.5. I'd be curious to see how ductile it is as well.

RE: Super wood?

There's also a process for the chemical modification of wood using acetic anhydride.

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