When it comes to indoor lighting, nothing beats the sun’s rays streaming in through windows. Soon, that natural light could be shining through walls, too.
Scientists have developed transparent wood that could be used in building materials and could help home and building owners save money on their artificial lighting costs. Their material, reported in ACS’ journal Biomacromolecules, also could find application in solar cell windows.
Homeowners often search for ways to brighten up their living space. They opt for light-colored paints, mirrors and lots of lamps and ceiling lights. But if the walls themselves were transparent, this would reduce the need for artificial lighting — and the associated energy costs. Recent work on making transparent paper from wood has led to the potential for making similar but stronger materials. Lars Berglund and colleagues wanted to pursue this possibility.
The researchers removed lignin from samples of commercial balsa wood. Lignin is a structural polymer in plants that blocks 80 to 95 percent of light from passing through. 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. The researchers could see through the resulting material, which was twice as strong as Plexiglass. Although the wood isn’t 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.
The Latest on: Transparent wood
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The Latest on: Transparent wood
- New Technique Improves Transparent Wood on February 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm
(Inside Science) -- Inspired by a technique first developed by botanists during the 1990s, materials scientists in the past few years have been making an almost oxymoronic-sounding material: transpare... […]
- Transparent wood, cigarette butt bricks top sustainable construction breakthroughs on January 7, 2019 at 2:07 pm
In the United Kingdom, renewable solutions are helping the construction industry—the cause of nearly half of the country’s carbon emissions—become a little greener. Planning and Building Control Today ... […]
- transparent wood on November 27, 2018 at 1:05 am
We’ve talked about transparent wood before. However, the process can be difficult to get just right. [NileRed] recently posted a video with very detailed instructions on how he’s doing it. Aside from ... […]
- New nanowood insulation is more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam on March 14, 2018 at 5:25 am
Hu said in the statement his research program “experiments with nature’s nanotechnology that we see in wood.” Inventwood’s website lists transparent wood and clear paper among their technologies. + Un... […]
- Transparent wood for windows is cooler than glass on August 17, 2016 at 4:52 am
Engineers at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) demonstrate in a new study that windows made of transparent wood could provide more even and consistent natura... […]
- The incredible possibilities of 'invisible' wood on May 23, 2016 at 2:20 am
Over the past year, scientists at the University of Maryland, College Park have worked to develop a superior, transparent version of wood. The "invisible" wood -- as Dr. Liangbing Hu of the University ... […]
- Transparent Wood Is a Surprisingly Versatile Material on May 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm
Wood makes for better walls than windows — most of the time. Researchers from the University of Maryland devised a way to strip the colors and and chemicals from a block of wood to leave behind a clea... […]
- Building Material of the Future: 'Transparent Wood' on April 4, 2016 at 8:45 am
(Newser) – One of these days, your windows may be made out of wood. Swedish researchers have developed a transparent, wood-based material that could be used to let light into buildings, as well as for ... […]
- Newly-developed transparent wood could be used in buildings, solar cells, and more on March 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm
In news that’s sure to thrill architects and carpenters around the world, researchers at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology have reportedly developed a new type of wood material that is vis... […]
- Wood windows? Swedes develop transparent wood material for buildings and solar cells on March 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm
A close-up look at the transparent wood created at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Credit: KTH Royal Institute of Technology Windows and solar panels in the future could be made from one of the bes... […]
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