Is Transparent Wood The Next Big Thing In Construction Materials?

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The fact that transparent wood is still in its final experimental stages hasn't stopped it from stirring up a palpable buzz of excitement. With its incredibly amazing properties, the transparent wood is surely bound to revolutionize the world of construction in ways that could only be conceived in our wildest imaginations.

Transparent wood was discovered back in 1992 and has begun gaining popularity recently. Despite still being in experimental stages, this construction material has been proven to have a plethora of commercial uses. Apart from its ability to improve the general outlook of homes, transparent wood also happens to be biodegradable. Some speculation states that transparent wood will also be retailing at a much cheaper price than most construction raw materials. Since the major players of transparent wood remain tight-lipped for the most part, this speculation remains to be just that – speculation. 

The process of making transparent wood

The production of transparent wood is carried out in three, carefully premeditated steps. The first step involves the hardening of the wooden block using a boiling water solution. This process includes: blocks of wood, a water solution, sodium sulfite, sodium hydroxide.

The following steps serve as an example of the process of making transparent wood. 

The first step is very important because it triggers the lignin element allowing it to reach out to the rest of the wooden blocks. This allows for the entire wooden block to become uniformly rigid and therefore ready for the step that follows shortly after. After the full, two-hour treatment in the boiling water solution chamber, the wooden blocks are moved to the next phase.

The second phase of the wooden block treatment will involve the oxidation process. This oxidation process still focuses on the even spreading of the lignin element throughout the wooden block. But this time around, the oxidation will make the wooden blocks tenser by pushing the lignin to occupy any spaces in the wood. This process also makes the wooden blocks tougher and by extension, durable.

After the oxidation process, the wooden blocks are ushered into the third and final step. It's in the final step of production that the treated wooden blocks are converted into the transparent wood. And all this is made possible thanks to the epoxy ingredient found in the epoxy-filled chamber. During this process, the treated wooden blocks will attain their almost transparent characteristic.

The epoxy-filled chamber achieves this thanks to its ability to alternate vacuum and atmospheric pressure. By pulling off this amazing feat, this impressive structure fills up and hydrates microscopic channels in the wood, making it strong. Note that the duration entire process is highly dependent on the size of the initial wooden block.

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