It seems that a University of Maryland lab (Department of Material Science and Engineering) found a new process to transform wood in a transparent material.
To watch the presentation video, click here
An article from the New York Magazine explains:
“Using a two-step process, researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, stripped away the plank’s tan and brown color and made it clear. The see-through wood, which the scientists say is stronger and a better insulator than glass, and more biodegradable than plastic, could one day be used in windows, tables and other building supplies. […] One appealing quality of transparent wood, according to Dr. Hu, is the series of natural channels that run throughout it, remnants from when it was a living tree. The structures, which once pumped water and ions, now direct light along their canals.. Glass and plastic typically do not have passageways like these.”
No doubt that industries can quickly be interested to transform these experimentations in a lucrative final product. Eager to see what uses could be found, especially in architecture and Hi-Tech products!