Scientists have developed wood that’s as strong as steel. A team at the University of Maryland claim the “super wood” is ten times stronger than normal wood — it’s even bulletproof. The secret behind its strength is a chemical treatment or sodium sulfite, followed by a heated compression process which degrades walls between cells in the wood, producing chemical bonds that make it 12 times stronger and 10 times tougher than regular wood. It’s as strong as steel, but six times lighter than the metal.
The team thinks the wood could be used in cars or planes, because it’s scratch resistant, moisture-resistant, and compression-resistant. The process needs to be refined and scaled up, before super wood makes it into major manufacturing, but we might be looking at a future more wooden in nature.