Massachusetts: Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a strong wood that is 23 times harder than ordinary wood, while nails and knives made from it are three times sharper than steel.
It should be noted that wood contains about 50% of a substance called cellulose, which in its pure state is stronger than many metals as well as ceramic.
However, wood also contains other substances such as hemi cellulose and lignin, which not only soften the wood but also weaken it.
To strengthen the wood, Teng Li, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, and his colleagues have developed a two-step method, the details of which are published in the latest issue of the online research journal Meter . ۔
In the first stage, they chemically reduced the amount of lignin in the wood, after which the wood became very soft and lustrous.
The wood was then subjected to a second phase of intense pressure in a warm environment to extract water. This increased the density of the wood and also significantly increased its strength.
The hardened wood was used to make sharp knives and nails, which were also coated with a special harmless and durable grease to finalize them so that water could not be absorbed into them and they remained strong.
During the experiments, this wood, made of pure cellulose, proved to be 23 times harder than ordinary and natural wood, while the edges of knives and nails made from it were three times faster than steel.
If the use of pure cellulose wood becomes common, it will become a substitute for steel in many places and the demand for steel will also decrease.
This will greatly benefit the environment as steelmaking is one of the most polluted industries in the world.