In order for the new material to decompose, scientists used an extract from orange juice: it is needed to create a polymer that restores the strength of delignified wood and allows light to pass through.
The new composite provides 90% optical transmission and is 1.2 mm thick. Unlike other transparent wood composites developed over the past five years, the new material is intended for structural use. It has high mechanical characteristics: strength 174 MPa and elasticity 17 GPa (or about 2.5 MPa).
The material is made without solvents and all chemicals are derived from bio-based raw materials.
The new development can be used in smart homes, wood can also store heat or include a lighting function.