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Wood Pulp Extract Stronger Than Carbon Fiber Or Kevlar

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-so-delicious-too dept.

Biotech 208

Zothecula writes "The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust. Prepared properly, CNCs are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar or carbon fibers, so that putting CNC into composite materials results in high strength, low weight products. In addition, the cost of CNCs is less than ten percent of the cost of Kevlar fiber or carbon fiber. These qualities have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass (CNCs are transparent), as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical industries."

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Transparent Aluminum (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224267)

Who needs transparent aluminum when you've got transparent, bulletproof wood?

Re:Transparent Aluminum (3, Funny)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224325)

That's a proper boast right there.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225615)

That's a proper boast right there.

Ever eat a burger in a high school cafeteria? You'd alreayd know how tough cellulose can be.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (3, Funny)

mk1004 (2488060) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224387)

Who needs transparent aluminum when you've got transparent, bulletproof wood?

Women might be impressed with bulletproof wood, but transparent?

Re:Transparent Aluminum (5, Funny)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224427)

Women might be impressed with bulletproof wood, but transparent?

With transparent they'd be surprised.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224473)

Sounds like a great name for a trendy new movie: The Invisible Superpinocchio.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225117)

man you sound like a horribly boring nerd. go back to complaining about big bang theory dipshit

Re:Transparent Aluminum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225261)

>With transparent they'd be surprised.

As the old joke goes, never marry a girl surprised by transparent wood.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (4, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225501)

"With transparent they'd be surprised."

Well, they wouldn't see you coming, that's for sure.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225911)

"Surprise buttseks?"

Sorry. Couldn't help it. It practically wrote itself.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225565)

Never let 'em see you coming.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (2)

ethanms (319039) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224559)

That's the ticket laddy.

Transparent Aluminum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224283)

Anyone?

Re:Transparent Aluminum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224357)

Yes. The person who posted before you. Try to be original.

Re:Transparent Aluminum (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41226067)

I am so tired of this star trek transparent aluminum meme. The whole concept is dumb to begin with. Glass would be too heavy to hold the weight of the whale and the water, but metal would be strong enough. There is no reason for it to also be clear like glass. They don't need no freakin' aquarium in space! They just need a box to transport the whale and water, they don't need to see through it, they can always look in from the top. OK, I'll go have another red bull and a bag of cheetos for lunch and hopefully I won't get too much of the orange stuff on my neck beard or that new girl in accounting will make fun of me again.

Same transparent aluminum thought (0, Redundant)

snadrus (930168) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224363)

Transparent aluminum is ballistics-resistant so much so that it doesn't even scratch. It's also much more expensive.

Re:Same transparent aluminum thought (4, Funny)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224461)

Transparent aluminum is ballistics-resistant so much so that it doesn't even scratch. It's also much more expensive.

Yeah, but its barter value isn't very high. A guy I know (Monty) only got a few big sheets of plexi in exchange for the transparent aluminum formula. Sheesh.

Re:Same transparent aluminum thought (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224873)

Transparent aluminum is ballistics-resistant so much so that it doesn't even scratch. It's also much more expensive.

Yeah, but its barter value isn't very high. A guy I know (Monty) only got a few big sheets of plexi in exchange for the transparent aluminum formula. Sheesh.

Yeah, I heard some hospital patient grew a new kidney, too, but got run down months later by someone driving a car made of transparent aluminum, never saw it coming.

Re:Same transparent aluminum thought (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225055)

Stupid, silent engines.

There oughta be a law!

Re:Same transparent aluminum thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41226097)

He had to wait another week for his eye transplant.

Damn socialized medicine.

Time to Pledge my ride (2)

virgnarus (1949790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224377)

So I take it we'll be seeing the next president riding around in a wood-sided grocery getter?

Re:Time to Pledge my ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225297)

That's racist.

Wooden space elevator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224381)

Wouldn't it be great if we end up making the space elevator out of wood?

Re:Wooden space elevator (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224555)

You need way more tensile strength for that.

Re:Wooden space elevator (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225933)

Why? There should be little to no tension on the line at rest.

Re:Wooden space elevator (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#41226027)

I think we're talking about the space elevator here, aren't we? So tensile strength is really the only thing that matters. Or do you have some alternative ideas on its construction?

Stiffness an issue? (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224407)

It seems as if being stiffer than Kevlar may limit its usefulness in certain applications, such as body armor and the like. That said, the summary mentioned composite materials that simply use it as a component. Any material scientists around who can comment on whether its an issue or how this stuff might change things?

Re:Stiffness an issue? (2)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224535)

being stiffer than Kevlar may limit its usefulness in certain applications, such as body armor and the like

Scale mail.

Re:Stiffness an issue? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225093)

I'm sure a mold could be used to form it into a shape that would be comfortable as a body armor. Think of Batman's suit.

Re:Stiffness an issue? (4, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225165)

I'm always thinking of Batman's suit.

Re:Stiffness an issue? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225949)

It's not the shape that he's concerned about. You want some give and flexibility, else all the kinetic energy of a projectile will be absorbed.

Sure, it might not penetrate you, but neither does a sledgehammer. You still wouldn't want one of those to the gut, would you?

Re:Stiffness an issue? (4, Interesting)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225137)

Current body armor (and I'm talking about the Interceptor vest, MTV (Modular Tactical Vest) and the Plate Carrier) don't have anything to do with the word "flexibility". The armor plates (Small Arms Protective Inserts, or SAPI) are stiff; they're slightly contoured, the front being the same contour as the back, which makes sense if you're disfigured I suppose...I digress...

Since current vests don't provide flexibility at all, then the CNC being stiffer won't have much of an effect. It will, however, be wonderful to save on weight, those vests get cumbersome fast. But those are ceramic. Replacing those would be much more effective than replacing the Kevlar, I would think, in terms of weight-saving.

The Kevlar itself is light enough (disclaimer: I was an infantry machine gunner), it's the SAPI plates that were/are horrible to deal with.

just what human beings need.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224437)

....another crappy excuse to cut down trees.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224513)

Or a good excuse to grow hemp.

Re:just what human beings need.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224685)

YES!

You mean Another good excuse to grow hemp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224777)

Wait a minute, what was the first reason?

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224515)

...or to start growing industrial hemp?

Re:just what human beings need.... (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224575)

You don't need to cut down trees from this. You can make it out of twigs or old furniture or any other kind of wood left-overs.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225969)

Can paper be used?

Re:just what human beings need.... (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224705)

Uh, at least in the US and Canada the trees used for making pulp come from forests owned by the paper companies and they sure as hell replant them when they harvest. Mead Westvaco (as an example) has a fairly long term view of things, they own 3M acres and process them in a fashion that minimizes the amount of land they have to purchase to meet demand. The only bad thing about timber harvesting is that there's no old growth forests, but those were cut down generations ago and have little to nothing to do with modern forestry practices.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224861)

Uh, at least in the US and Canada the trees used for making pulp come from forests owned by the paper companies and they sure as hell replant them when they harvest. Mead Westvaco (as an example) has a fairly long term view of things, they own 3M acres and process them in a fashion that minimizes the amount of land they have to purchase to meet demand. The only bad thing about timber harvesting is that there's no old growth forests, but those were cut down generations ago and have little to nothing to do with modern forestry practices.

Right... acres and acres of allelopathic monocrops... what harm could that do?

Around my neck of the woods, it's all about evergreens. They ship em around the world for Xmas trees, and the fact that they replant makes it seem like it's all ok.

Shame the soil is rendered so acidic you could put it under your tongue and take a trip to see lucy in the sky.

Re:just what human beings need.... (4, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224953)

Actually they generally don't do that, because one blight or beetle means they lose an entire plot for many years, plus their plants will have varying needs and having the cutting crews constantly moving equipment to meet demand is inefficient. Christmas tree farms are a different animal, there the trees are planted and harvested in a handful of years and the harvest season is very short so making things as monoculture as possible is seen as an advantage (plus if you lose a crop your downtime is significantly less).

Re:just what human beings need.... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225001)

How is this different than fields of wheat or corn?

Do they not have any process to prevent competition?

Re:just what human beings need.... (2)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225147)

Have you ever tried to put lights and ornaments on wheat? Duh.

Re:just what human beings need.... (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225229)

How is this different than fields of wheat or corn?

Do they not have any process to prevent competition?

They don't damage the soil the same way... but yeah, they're pretty bad too.

For a smarter way, I'd suggest checking out Geoff Lawton's DVD "Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way". You can view some decent excerpts searching Youtube for the term "Lawton's Guide To Permaculture Design and Strategy"

Food forests are complex and thus not friendly to automation, so it's not a profitable way for one man to establish himself as the gatekeeper to the cupboards of a million of his fellows.

However, they're less expensive in terms of materials, produce significantly more food in the same space, require no maintenance, and once they're built, they can and have lasted thousands of years.

Example: 300 year old food forest in Vietnam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5ZgzwoQ-ao [youtube.com]

Example: 2000 year old food forest in Morocco
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftgWcD-1Nw [youtube.com]

I used his principles when designing a border of perennial food-bearing plants to protect our local urban garden society site from hungry homeless people. Now instead of raiding peoples personal plots, they feed themselves from the edge and go on their merry way. I'm determined to leave an oasis to my children when I die, and hope to be able to get the land and get started with the labour in the next couple of years.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225447)

In a way, it's very much the same. Before the US grain belt was developed and planted, the average biodiversity was very high, on the order of being able to find upwards of 1,000 different plant types in a given acre. The modern number for the region is only 6 different plant specie per acre. This doesn't mean that all those plants went extinct, just that they now often occur much less than once per acre on average, but many cases are definitely known to be extinctions. So yes, fields of wheat or corn are tending towards the same risky situation as monoculture tree farming. Wheat monoculture practices contributed greatly to the 1930's dustbowl, and so it's reasonable to argue they helped worsen and prolong the great depression. Personally, I'd think that was a stromg incentive to avoid large acreage monocultures whenever possible.

Re:just what human beings need.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225991)

Alternatively, it helped to shorten it. It created a massive influx of low-wage labor. And it's not like the Okies were the cornerstone of the consumer market. They barely scratched a living off the land, so didn't contribute much in terms of products consumption. So, for all I know it helped to shorten i.t

The really bad thing about the dust bowl was simply the human toll. My dad worked around the area in the 60s. He heard countless stories of people committing suicide during the storms. Imagine a long dreary winter on steroids, except with less sun light and dirt and grit in every little nook and cranny. It literally drove people insane.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225325)

True, in those regions. The paper industry has something of a reputation for environmental damage because this wasn't always the case. If you want to see some really destructive logging, try looking at hardwood for furniture.

Re:just what human beings need.... (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225401)

Actually, in Canada, the paper companies don't own the forests. They are harvesting crown land. The wood and paper companies pay only and "administrative fee" to allow them to cut down the trees. They do however have to replant after they are done. The good thing is that the government stays in control of the forests and can stop logging on certain areas if they deem fit. This is the reasoning for the softwood lumber dispute. Americans claim the Canadian forestry companies are receiving a subsidy, and therefore should be subject to import duties.

Re:just what human beings need.... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224855)

....another crappy excuse to cut down trees.

Yeah... speaking of that, growing lumber trees and sawmills are not exactly new or high tech. Nor all manner of using wood as an industrial chemical feedstock. How come this is "new"? Perhaps, this is an interesting example of how something old and boring still has some exciting research potential in it.

The most interesting story related to this is probably why "we" haven't heard of this until 2012.

Paper armor (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224447)

I *knew* I should have patented the paper armor I made for myself when I was a kid.

Re:Paper armor (4, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225299)

I *knew* I should have patented the paper armor I made for myself when I was a kid.

Mythbusters did it - they made effective (for some uses) paper armor that fit descriptions of such from ancient China.

Built-in emergency ration (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224457)

The product possibilities are endless, but I think bullet proof west with integrated brew station will be the greatest hit. Survive the tough battle, add water and yeast - instant celebratory beverage.

Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (4, Interesting)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224503)

One of the biggest problems with building a race car/truck is often the cost of the materials. The stiffer frames built from carbon fiber are insanely expensive. Imagine if we could build a frame out of this for around the cost of steel --the technology could then be used in ordinary cars, with a huge weight savings, and a safer, stronger frame. It could revolutionize the automotive design industry.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224825)

I was driving a 10 year old Geo Metro. I was having steering problems so I took it to a mechanic. After putting the car on a lift, I was informed that the car should be sold for scrap since the frame was so rusted that the passenger front wheel had broken off. So if they could make a frame that did not have any problems with rust, I would be very interested in it. Twice a year I had the oil changed and not 6 months before it broke, I had the muffler system replaced. Not one of those mechanic said anything about rust on the frame.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (3, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225115)

So instead of rust it will be "oh, looks like you've got termites in the bodywork. Might as well chop it up for firewood."

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225151)

I mourn your loss. For never a greater car was ever built than the Metro. However, they are not strangers to rust. My second Metro died from a tire change in much the same way.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225163)

It's been tried. [wikipedia.org] Rust didn't eat it. Rats did.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225355)

s/rust/rot/

Actually, I imagine it'll just be treated with fungicide. Fungi love cellulose.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224867)

The vulnerability to moisture makes it unsuitable for use in street vehicles unless stringent safety regulations are backed by frequent inspection. It would be dandy for high-end race vehicles, though.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41226021)

I'll bet you can rinse it in resin to make it waterproof.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224911)

This was tried in the past but fell out of fashion:
CNC car body [artprintimages.com]

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225091)

Usually the frames are made of chromoly or stainless steel, body panels are made from CF - the big exception being F1 where they use a CF monocoque.

CF body panels actually give very poor value for money...but if there's a lot of money to spend...

On regular production cars on the other hand, CF or a substitute could be very useful because they have to meet safety standards and you don't get the benefit of 6-point harnesses or helmets with HANS devices.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225269)

I'm not very familiar with Nascar, etc., but in the off-road race truck world, there's nothing more popular than a carbon fibre tube frame. Since that's my area of interest, that's what I'm familiar with; but I'm surprised other racers don't use it as well. It seems like what's good for the goose would be good for the gander.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225567)

Huh I've never seen a CF tube frame (unless you mean a metal one with CF reinforcement). I've competed in offroad rallies and never heard of them. Got any links?

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225243)

I don't think that there's anything inherently expensive about carbon fibre. The raw ingredients aren't really that expensive. I'm pretty sure a lot of the price has to do with patents on various polymers that are used, as well as other aspects of carbon fibre construction. I'm waiting for the day when carbon fibre actually becomes the cheapest method of creating a bike. With the rising price of metals, and the ever lowering costs of carbon fibre, it will eventually be the case that carbon fibre (or this wood pulp material) will become cheaper than most other alternatives.

Re:Cheaper & Stronger than Carbon Fiber? (1)

MrSenile (759314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225821)

Does this mean we'll need new car insurance for termites and weevils?

Real World Implications (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224521)

So does this mean that Ikea furniture will now be bullet proof too?

Wood armor (4, Informative)

kwishot (453761) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224541)

Wood armor - we're back to the medieval days!

As with most (all?) engineered wood products - what about when it gets wet?

From TFA:

Swelling introduces a large number of nano-defects in the cellulose structure. Although there is little swelling of a single CNC, water can penetrate into amorphous cellulose with ease, pushing apart the individual cellulose molecules in those regions. In addition, the bonds and interfaces between neighboring CNC will be disrupted, thereby significantly reducing the strength of any material reinforced with CNCs. To make matters worse, water can move easily over the surface/interfaces of the CNCs, thereby allowing water to penetrate far into a composite containing CNCs.

They suggest painting it. To be honest, I'm a skeptic. We wore body armor during my time in Iraq, and the abuse that our gear received cannot be overstated. Rain, heat, jumping over walls, dealing with mud. No thanks, I'll stick with Kevlar.

Re:Wood armor (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224787)

It sounds like they will be using CNC to armor cars or windows rather than body armor. In such applications, you could paint it, then stick it somewhere it won't be touched on a day-to-day basis, such as between the car's body panels. If the CNC is so much cheaper, you probably could put a lot more of it if weight allows.

I'll note that Kevlar and Spectra also have problems with high humidity/high temperature conditions. Dragon Skin was supposedly revolutionary body armor that got stopped by the military. There was a controversy over the entire matter. The manufacturer claimed a coverup. Eventually, the military claimed that the armor would delaminate under high humidity/high temperature applications, such as in body armor worn by soldiers in a desert.

Re:Wood armor (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224883)

I guess you could cover it in a thin layer of epoxy after painting (adding weight), but yeah moisture control is going to be a problem in that situation from the sound of it.

Re:Wood armor (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41226065)

I can't see a sealant layer adding any weight of significance.

Water is an issue for Kevlar and Aramid fibers too (2)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224887)

My (non wood) vest came with a notice to avoid water/moisture.
Don't know if it as big an issue for military grade vests because special coatings may be applied....
Too many Google hits to bother listing.

Re:Wood armor (2)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225133)

As with most (all?) engineered wood products - what about when it gets wet?

So it's not really bulletproof against a watergun?

Re:Wood armor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225191)

Kevlar has the same problem.

Actually, when body armor (kevlar) gets wet, it is supposed to be replaced.
(Per the instructions that came in the box for the Wife's Police Issue body armor--2 different brands)

Re:Wood armor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225331)

No thanks to that new-fangled wood armor, I'll stick with good old-fashioned Kevlar is not something I though I would ever read.

Re:Wood armor (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225905)

So logically, if it weighs the same as duck...

Comparisons (4, Informative)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224545)

The chart from TFA is all you really need to know.

Material, Elastic Modulus, Tensile Strength
CNC, 150 GPa, 7.5 GPa
Kevlar 49, 125 GPa, 3.5 GPa
Carbon fiber, 150 GPa, 3.5 GPa
Carbon nanotubes, 300 GPa, 20 GPa

So a great compromise material when you take cost into account, if it comes to fruition.

Re:Comparisons (3, Insightful)

crizh (257304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224753)

It would be nice to know how strong it is in compression as well as under tension.

Those figures for Carbon fibre are bollocks BTW. Elastic Modulus varies from a third to five times that depending on how it's made. My gut tells me Elastic Modulus ought to be in MPa rather than GPa. Could be wrong but Wikipedia will know the truth of it....

Re:Comparisons (3, Informative)

crizh (257304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225427)

I'll correct myself then.

Tensile strength should be in MPa. Those figures are all correctly adjusted but the Carbon Fibre ones are again wrong.

Typical figures are from as low as 0.25 GPa all the way up to 7.1 GPa.

Fire Hazard? (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224557)

Maybe I'm not reading this right, but wouldn't this present huge fire hazards because it's essentially wood?

Re:Fire Hazard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224649)

I imagine that the prep work fundamentally changes the chemical makeup from that of "wood" to whatever the desired crystal-lattice is. How many, if any, characteristics the final product shares with its source material, I think, would be interesting to explore. For instance, does the material decay like any other form of cellulose?

Chinese paper armor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224611)

Old idea comes around again. The chinese used paper to make armor, it was lighter than steel and stronger as well, plus with the right coating, waterproof.

Wooden bicycles! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224661)

So when can I buy a "wooden" bike frame? Extra bonus points if it can be composted (along with me) when it gets totaled by a hit-n-run driver.

Re:Wooden bicycles! (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224703)

There are bamboo bike frames, go nuts.

Re:Wooden bicycles! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224827)

The splinters from those suckers are a bitch!

The Habbakuk Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224713)

Best idea for use of wood pulp ever: A self repairing, nearly torpedo proof floating air base. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk

Re:The Habbakuk Project (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225043)

This is exactly what I thought of too when I read the headline. Pykrete -- but without ice! Woooo!

Stronger (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224715)

Stronger burn rate too, I assume.

When, please? :-) (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224749)

So when can I order my super-light, super-stiff CNC composite racing bicycle? Please? Is there a pre-order process? Can I put it on lay-away?

Project Habakkuk (2)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224879)

Goes to show that Pykrete [wikipedia.org] was ahead of it's time.

In the future... (3, Funny)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224881)

In the future, there will be a Legend of Zelda game where the Wooden Shield will be the best shield, rather than the starting shield.

"I'm melting!!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224939)

Ummm... from TFA: it's nemesis is water. This kind of kiboshes the whole idea IMO. I guess it could be good armour for fighting a war on Mars though.

My new secret weapon? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224979)

Termites!

Re:My new secret weapon? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225349)

I say we outlaw termites!!

Just great... (1)

LostMonk (1839248) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225045)

Here goes the remains of the rain forests.

down side to this new wood product? (1)

trevc (1471197) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225143)

So now they have to come up with stronger nails so we can make something useful out of it?

Wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41225555)

Wood pulp *is* carbon fiber, think about it.

Anyone else immediately think of the Chtorr? (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 2 years ago | (#41225647)

The invasion clearly has begun, where else could they have "discovered" this radical new use of wood pulp?!

Yes, but how long before... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 2 years ago | (#41226047)

Yes, but how long will it be before I can run it through my reprap? You see, I need all my projects to be completly 'bullet proof concepts' before commiting them to physical models.

Ok, a little more searious question, how well does it hold up to long term water exposure? Will it rot from sustained moisture or degrade out in the environment, and more or less than kevlar? A super fiber material is only super if it lasts a long time out in the environment.

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