Microwave doubled the strength of bamboo

Chemical delignification and subsequent microwave heating is allowed to increase the tensile strength of the bamboo twice, and the shock resistance in three. Thus relative strength of the treated bamboo surpasses that of steel and many plastics, making it an attractive “green” counterpart. Article published in the journal ACS Nano.

Metal and plastic were the most popular versatile construction materials in the twentieth century. Mostly they are made from non-renewable natural resources of ore and oil, which are distributed unevenly around the world. Despite the fact that physical exhaustion of the ore reserves and of oil is far in the future, engineers are trying to find a renewable replacement. In addition to the use of bioplasticsderived from plants, you can try to improve the properties of natural materials, such as, for example, wood.

A group of scientists headed Chaoji Chen (Chaoji Chen) at the University of Maryland in College Park came up, how to make bamboo lightweight and durable building material. A stalk of bamboo, like wood, consists of two main components: cellulose is responsible for tensile strength, and lignin which gives it its characteristic woody hardness. First, use a consistent soaking in caustic soda and sodium sulfate, the researchers removed the lignin, which softens the bamboo cells and made them more porous.

Then delignification stems for one hour was heated in a microwave oven. Due to the formed at the first stage, then, the water quickly left the bamboo when heated, with the result that he was ususually and turned into a dense material.

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