Scientists at the University of Maryland have discovered how to make wood transparent
- They boil the block of wood in a chemical bath of Na2SO and NaOH
- After a few hours, the wood loses the lignan that is responsible for its color
- The lignan is repsonsible for a lot of the wood's strength, so the wood does become more fragile
Scientists at the University of Maryland (Baltimore) have discovered how to make wood transparent. They boil off the wood’s lignan with a chemical bath of Na2SO and NaOH for a few hours. The result is a transparent/translucent block piece of wood.
The resulting block is more fragile as the wood’s lingin does provide a lot of its strength. One solution to this is impregnating the transparent wood with an epoxy resin to reinforce its strength and maintain the optical clarity.
While not 100% optically clear, the transformed wood could have some really intersting applications and acts as a great light diffuser.