Steel and stone are two of the most often used materials for construction, however, those materials are not renewable. As the industry is constantly developing, scientists had realized that an alternative material that is both renewable and suitable as a substitute for steel and stone is crucial.
In 2016, Timothée Boitouzet founded Woodoo, a material science company in Paris, France, which retrofits timber to give it new properties. He found out that wood can be one of the materials that are renewable, making it an attractive sustainable building material. Utilizing wood as a construction material can greatly reduce the possibility of climate change as trees contain carbon, hence those carbons can be stored as a construction material.
Boitouzet also experimented on wood to test its properties, where the results showed that wood can be used for more than support pillars. By replacing the cell walls with a specific type of polymer, it becomes a new material. This new material is called transparent wood.
Transparent wood is as biodegradable and environmentally friendly as regular wood, where transparent wood can maintain a consistent temperature, where this could also achieve higher energy efficiency as wood has low thermal conductivity. The optical properties of the polymer are matched to that of the wood so that light does not bend when it moves through the augmented wood. Instead, it passes through. This transparency opens a wide range of possibilities
There are so many applications of this transparent wood, such as smart buildings with photonic function, shielding buildings, and provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding by incorporating magnetic nanoparticles into transparent wood.
Hamakareem, M. I. (n.d.). Transparent Wood – Production, Properties, Applications, and Advantages. Retrieved from The Constructor: Transparent Wood – Production, Properties, Applications, and Advantages
Wild, S. (2019, November 27). Transparent wood: the building material of the future? Retrieved from phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2019-11-transparent-wood-material-future.html