What’s stronger than glass but equally transparent? See-through wood #objectmagic
Scientists at the University of Maryland pulled color and chemicals away from a piece of wood to render it transparent, making it both tougher than glass and more eco-friendly than plastic. “We were very surprised by how transparent it could go,” said Liangbing Hu, the one who detailed the process in Advanced Materials. How do you strip away nature from wood? You first boil the material in water and sodium hydroxide for a couple of hours.
But to get a stronger material you need to pour epoxy on it, or at least this was the process of the researchers led by Hu. The beautiful thing is, although you get rid of the yellow-brownish color of wood, you do retain the structure and inner channels. In the end, the pattern will guide more light through the transparent wood, which, if used in constructions, could translate into brighter houses.
In any case, this would be the end goal, but scientists are still having trouble in applying the process to big chunks of wood.