Skip to main content

Sawdust Stronger Than Kevlar


Wood Stronger Than Kevlar




The US Forest Service has opened a $1.7 million plant that will produce cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products, like wood chips and sawdust. The end result is stronger than Kevlar or carbon fiber, with similar low-weight advantages. CNC is also transparent, making it an alternative to ballistic glass.
The real selling point is the low cost. CNC from wood can cost less than 10 percent of carbon fiber or Kevlar. The current goal for is $10 per kilogram, but large-scale production should reduce that figure to $1 or $2 per kilo.
Cellulose, found in the cell walls of plant and bacterial cells, is made of long chains of glucose molecules. Plants arrange these fibers into webs that create structural support for cells. Wood is basically a network of these fibers, and a typical cellulose fiber measures about 10 microns wide and 1 millimeter long.
Wood, when broken down into pulp, loses its lignin, which holds together all the cellulose fibers, leaving them suspended in water. When it dries, it’s about as tough as a lint ball, but when it’s further broken down into nanofibrils, they join via hydrogen bonds. A strong acid then gets rid of the excess, leaving behind individual cellulose nanocrystals, the strong stuff. About 30 percent of a wood pulp collection can become CNC.
There are some drawbacks, specifically with water. Given enough of it, cellulose will swell with H20 to nearly double its dry volume, then fall victim to nano-defects in the cellulose structure. Researchers are looking for paint or hydrophobic treatments that can keep out water and preserve CNC’s strength.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Annotated Guide To Men's Belts

The Complete Guide To Men’s BeltsArticle By  on 11th March 2014 | @gabrielweil

IMAGE: AUSTIN REED SS14

Warning, Car Porn

The signature feature is the Rolls Royce Wraith’s Starlight Headliner, consisting of 1,340 LEDs hand-sewn to create an effect of owning one’s personal night sky filled with stars...

Warning, content below represents a man's libidinous fascination with an automobile. It is not Lolita; after all Bradley Berman, the author, is not Nabokov and the Wraith is not underaged. Nonetheless, I find myself simultaneously repulsed... and seduced. David J. Katz

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Nine years and 19 million YouTube views later, Steve Jobs's commencement address to Stanford University's graduating class of 2005 has achieved iconic status. Jobs, the Apple visionary who died in 2011 at age 56, delivered a speech that resonated far beyond the Stanford audience, with a masterful mix of personal anecdotes, sparks of insight and universally applicable pieces of wisdom. Each year, especially around graduation season, people discover and rediscover Jobs's speech and its messages for those who seek meaning and purpose in life and at work. - Carolyn Gregoire Note that Steve Jobs originally asked Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to write this speech: Sorkin was not available.  - DJK Full text of Steve Jobs' commencement address to Stanford University 2005
"I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college gradu…