SURFACES REPORTER first wrote about transparent wood in its July 2016 edition. Here is an extract from that news. We continue to keep an eye on the progress of this material. Stay tuned with us to get more updates on transparent wood and how it is progressing in the market.
The colour of Wood is associated with its origin. However, if the same can be replaced making the wood translucent, imagine the realms of possibilities it would open. Now scientists have developed such wood that could be used in building material and could help home and building owners save money on the artificial lighting costs.
The material, reporter in ACS’ journal Biomacromolecules, also could find application in solar cell windows.
“The difference compared with timber is that we have removed lignin, but added a polymer to increase strength and provide transparency,” said Lars Berglund, who led the study.
The researchers removed lignin from samples of commercial balsa wood. Lignin is a structural polymer in plants that blocks 80-95 percent of light from passing through and gives the wood its orginal brownish colour. But the resulting material was still not transparent due to light scattering within it.
To allow light to pass through the wood, more directly, the researchers incorporated acrylic, often known as Plexiglass. Although the wood is not as crystal clear as glass, its haziness provides a possible advantage for solar cells. Specifically, because the material still traps some light, it could be used to boost the efficiency of these cells, the scientists note.
“ We can create veneer from the material and then laminate it into larger structures, such as load-bearing panels and beams” added Berglund
Such a wood has a lot of possibilities. It can not only reduce the cost of artificial lighting but may prove beneficial in the areas where using glass is not so practical.
According to Berglund, the transparent wood panels can also be used for windows, and semi-transparent facades, when the idea is to lighten but maintain privacy.
Currently, work is on to further enhance the transparency of the material as well as scale up manufacturing process.
Image courtesy – www.acs.org
With extracts from – www.acs.org