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Forum topic by Dave Polaschek posted 10-22-2021 12:12 PM 474 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1864 days


10-22-2021 12:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hardened wood technology cellulose

Seems like a pretty neat development to me. Remove the lignin and compress the remaining cellulose, and you get wood hard enough to make knives or nails from.

-- Dave - Santa Fe


13 replies so far

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10795 posts in 3325 days


#1 posted 10-22-2021 12:24 PM

Very interesting Dave. I’ll have to look into this further.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1864 days


#2 posted 10-22-2021 12:40 PM

Yeah. It’s a science project yet, so probably a few years from being commercial, but it’s something to watch…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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CaptainKlutz

5020 posts in 2776 days


#3 posted 10-22-2021 01:54 PM

Old news for me?
but then I worked in bleeding edge polymer technology development arena for decades before I retired.

The University of Maryland (UMD) engineering school have been trying hard for many years to find investors to commercialize the various wood modification technology they developed and patented. The UMD development director (Dr. Hu) even started his own company in 2016, since he couldn’t find investors. Every time they publish a new paper at a conference, the tech magazines pick it up and sensationalize it for couple months. Looks like Dr Hu did it again with his Mettlewood technology?

UMD has patented all kinds of new uses for wood fibers. They include: 3D printing modified wood fibers, moldable fiber processes trying to replace fiberglass reinforcement of composite structures, and even transparent (polymer modified) wood panels.

It is all unique and very interesting stuff, until you dig deep.
Despite the claims that the modification processes use readily available and cheap materials, it has a laundry list of processing challenges. Everything from; waste processing/disposal costs that require large expensive recycling plants, to wood not always growing in clear, straight, fine grain patterns needed to make panels large enough for economical post processing. IME – UMD also commands above average patent royalty rates, which reduce profitability, making it harder to commercialize the excellent work.

Don’t get me wrong, it is cool to read about modifying wood to make other things, but folks have been using wood fiber (cellulose) to make Rayon fabrics since 1960’s. Nano-cellulose is also used in biodegradable plastic bags.
Wood is universal, and not just for making furniture for your house. lol

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Oldtool

3351 posts in 3473 days


#4 posted 10-22-2021 03:18 PM

Very interesting, thanks for posting.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1864 days


#5 posted 10-22-2021 03:33 PM

Thanks for the info, Klutz! Reading the article, it sounded like easy chemicals a guy could use at home (lye is nothing to sneeze at, but I’ve made soap, so I’m not afraid of it). I meant to go poke into the full paper, but based on what you’re saying, that might be a waste of time.

Tom, I thought it interesting, even if it doesn’t prove practical.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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bigblockyeti

7744 posts in 3003 days


#6 posted 10-22-2021 03:58 PM

This is cool but 31.21HB for basswood isn’t knife material yet considering 4Cr13mov is 197-241HB in annealed state and close to 500HB after heat treating for kitchen knifes. It’s interesting no doubt but seeking investors at that university reminds me a little of the Red Cross seeking donations following hurricane Sandy after the news showed a guy with his Porsche stuck in the front of his $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ house by the Jersey shore.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2317 days


#7 posted 10-22-2021 05:04 PM

Interesting, but the wording used on the claims made me a bit skeptical on the results (Before reading Klutz’s post).

The harder they make it the more of a PITA it will be to work with of course :)

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

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Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1864 days


#8 posted 10-22-2021 05:51 PM

Exactly, Mike. But my buddy who sells knives with fancy scales figured if this becomes commercial, he’ll be able to sell the heck out of it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View DS's profile

DS

3985 posts in 3702 days


#9 posted 10-22-2021 06:02 PM

I can’t remember what they called it, but, there was a group trying to replicate the old woods used to make Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, by modifying new wood to have the same characteristics as if it were hundreds of years old. It involved hardening as well.

The result was impressive, but, in the same way a Cubic Zirconia is to a Diamond. The Cubic Z Is more perfect, but, the other is the natural original.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8291 posts in 3486 days


#10 posted 10-22-2021 07:47 PM

Cutting edge technology you might say?

the steak looked almost good enough to eat!

I have seen “disposable wooden KFS sets in restaurants somewhere, next time I will have to smuggle some home to conduct experiments

I have suffered some serious cuts from paper so i guess there is no reason why the egg heads couldn’t nail it with wood!

-- Regards Rob

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5020 posts in 2776 days


#11 posted 10-23-2021 05:16 AM

... seeking investors at that university reminds me a little of the Red Cross seeking donations following hurricane Sandy . ... – bigblockyeti
It’s not what you might think?

Maybe my use of investor, might be the wrong word?

Most colleges only prosper with a stack of corporate sponsors that can invest money/people/equipment/facility resources, to help convert novel ideas into a viable product demonstration (AKA making the wooden knife). Without these ‘investments’, implementation of the technology seldom happens or is very slow and revenue potential of patents is greatly reduced.

If you dig into any highly rated tech development school, you will find hiding an elaborate money making scheme driven by patent royalties and licensing fees. Hidden behind the dean of college there is always a PHD business person (often on school trustee board) who obsesses about having students making money for school. Students are pushed to file new patents as quickly and often as possible. Post graduate pay scales are always tied to funding inflow created by individual patents generated.

The biz director and college dean are also tasked with being the sales/marketing team to grow outside corporate support (investment) to increase the funding base. With higher royalties, and more grants, and more corporate sponsors; the university is able to offer more scholarships, which make more patents, and feed the cycle in a never ending search for the ever elusive golden parachute for their retirement funding (or to buy the Porsche).

Sorry if I burst anyone’s bubble on tech school funding.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View crowie's profile

crowie

5107 posts in 3233 days


#12 posted 10-23-2021 08:34 AM

While fancy technology, could be ideal for criminals to conceal in metal detector applications.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8795 posts in 1864 days


#13 posted 10-23-2021 12:03 PM

Yes, but wood is hardly the first such technology, Peter. There are already ceramic knives that make it through metal detectors. The ceramic bird knives from Japan are just one example, and they’re from 2016. I own a set of five, so I had one to use with my lunch at work each day of the week, even if I didn’t do dishes during the week. They’re great little knives, and while there is some metal in the ceramic, they have a smaller signature in a metal detector than a pack of gum or a lighter, which I routinely smuggled through airport metal detectors back when I still flew.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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