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post #14 of Old 02-09-2018
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Re: New Super Wood

Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Termites, fungus and rot are not mentioned.
Well, first off, the publishing of an academic paper on the basis of lab experiments, is a long way from usable products out in the real world. (Although the press release did mention that U of MD is spinning out a company for these kinds of products.) It will take time for peer reviews of the paper, and duplication of results, to come in -- and then still longer before there is any meaningful production.

Now, if I understand this correctly -- and I might not! -- the product in question might be more prone to microbial and fungal breakdown, since it is predicated on the removal of lignin and hemicellulose. The remaining polymer, cellulose, is essentially a very long, long-chain carbohydrate, and thus many forms of microbes secrete enzymes capable of breaking it down.

I also infer (and again, perhaps incorrectly) that their densification technique is better suited to soft "junky" woods like aspen, alder, basswood, and so on -- because those have less dense and less complex lignin polymers, than rot-resistant tropical hardwoods like teak, mahogany, acacia, Handroanthus aka "ipe" or "Brazilian walnut", massaranduba, and so on, because these woods contain extremely heavy and complex lignin polymers.

In other words, they might actually be removing whatever rot resistance the original wood had to begin with.

Last edited by WharfRat; 02-09-2018 at 11:06 PM. Reason: typos
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