Titanium alloys, perhaps, one of the most durable materials on our planet. But they have two very unpleasant drawback: they are very heavy and very expensive. Scientists from the University of Maryland (UMD) have invented an alternative to expensive metals that can literally "grow on trees". Using an innovative compaction process, the team of researchers managed to create an incredibly durable wood, having the strength of metals.
Wood — a very versatile material widely used in our life everywhere. However, if you think about it, properties can be expanded through science, and that's when it will become more useful in the construction and many other areas. Head of the research group of the University of Maryland Lianbing Hu in recent years have achieved impressive results in terms of studying this material. Earlier, he managed to create a transparent wood, effective filters for water purification on the basis of charcoal and even the sodium-ion battery based on wood and wood sheets. To stop the scientist, of course, is not going to.
New superdivision gained its strength through a two-step process, developed by the team who. First, the researchers boiled the samples of wood in a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite. This allows you to partially save the wood from lignin and hemicellulose. After that, the wood is subjected to hot pressing, which destroys the cell walls and allows to form a material inside a high-level nanofibers of cellulose. The end result of this process is a densified wood, much superior to normal in terms of strength.
"a New way of processing wood allows you to make it 12 times stronger and 10 times more stringent. The metamaterial may well become a competitor to steel or even titanium alloys, because it is very durable, long-lasting, but significantly cheaper" — shared Lianbing Hu with journalists.
One of the tests of strength was shooting sheet supergravity of weapons. While conventional boards made its way through with bullets, the sheet is detained a new bullet inside. Scientists claim that they have developed process can be applied to various types of wood, and it can scale to industrial scale for the simultaneous production of a huge amount of supergravity. By the way, during the first phase of production of the wood can be put in absolutely any form. The results of the study were published in the journal .
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