Because of inefficient glass panes a lot of energy goes literally straight out the window during summer and winter. To prevent this scientists have come up with a way to use sustainable tree products instead of glass.
Junyong Zhu, a researcher at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, has collaborated with colleagues from the University of Maryland and University of Colorado to develop a clear, transparent wood material that will probably be the material used for windows in the future. Transparent wood has the ability to exceed glass windows in nearly every way, which makes it one the future’s up-and-coming materials, according to the team.
According to Good News Network the wood for the new material is oxidized in a bath that bleaches it of nearly all visibility. After that, the wood is penetrated with a synthetic polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), creating a product that is nearly transparent. This video shows the process:
Using glass in window construction comes with a costly ecological and economical price. Heat easily transfers through the glass (especially single paned windows) and leads to higher energy bills. Transparent wood will cut energy costs because of its thermal efficiency, which is nearly five times higher than glass.
Glass production comes with a severe carbon footprint. For the windows made of wood, the scientists use balsa trees - very fast growing trees with low density. The see through wood is a sustainable material because of its low carbon emission and the fact the material is made from renewable resources.
Thanks to the natural cellulose in its wood structure, in combination with the energy absorbing polymer filler, the wooden window is three orders of magnitude more durable than glass. The material is much lighter and can withstand much stronger impact. Unlike glass wooden windows bends or splinters instead of shatter.
This is a revolutionary new invention that benefits everything and everyone… consumers, manufacturing and the environment. And since it can be manufactured with already existing industrial processing equipment, the transition from glass constructions to this new invention is an easy adjustment.