Scientist-made TRANSPARENT wood more thermally efficient than glass

Scientist create TRANSPARENT wood as clear as glass but stronger, lighter and five times more thermally efficient Scientists transformed wood from balsa trees into clear material that could replace conventional glass  The team bleached the wood until it was nearly clear and then added a  synthetic polymer called polyvinyl alcohol The innovation is five times more thermally efficient than traditional glass It is also stronger and will bend instead of shattering if damaged  

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

Published: 19:58 BST, 5 October 2020 | Updated: 20:30 BST, 5 October 2020

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Scientists have designed ‘transparent wood’ that could replace conventional glass in windows.

The innovation was developed using wood from the balsa tree, which is native to South and Central America, and claims to be five times more thermally efficient than glass.

The team treated balsa wood in an oxidizing bath that bleaches it of nearly all visibility and then penetrated it with a synthetic polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) - creating a product that is virtually transparent.

Unlike traditional glass, the transparent wood can withstand much stronger impacts and will bend or splinter when damaged, instead of shattering.

Scientists have designed ¿transparent wood¿ that could replace conventional glass in windows. The innovation was developed using wood from the balsa tree

Scientists have designed ‘transparent wood’ that could replace conventional glass in windows. The innovation was developed using wood from the balsa tree

The transparent wood was created by teams at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado, which set out to find a greener alternative to conventional glass – a production that creates 25,000 tons in emissions each year.

Along with contributing to greenhouse gases, glass contributes to a loss of energy.

‘Residential building windows in particular account for 10–25% of the heat loss due to their poor thermal management capability,’ the team wrote in the study.

‘Exploring energy efficient window materials is thus highly desirable to address heating costs, energy shortages, and the global impact of climate change associated with increased carbon emissions.’

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