Researchers have found that woody materials can be bent into shape by modeling their compression during drying.
Existing manufacturing methods for complex,curved wooden objects take up a lot of energy, and a lot of waste is generated due to cutting or grinding of unwanted parts. However, material scientists from the Swiss Higher Technical School of Zurich and the University of Stuttgart have found a way to use the natural property of wood to absorb and release moisture to create similar structures.
First, a team of scientists developed a computera model that allows you to predict the deformation of the board depending on the type of wood, natural moisture and the reaction to its changes. Then they figured out how to use the natural features of individual fragments to create complex structures of the desired shape without machining.
In order to test the effectiveness of the methodology in practice, they designed and built a 14-meter structure called the Urbach Tower.
When creating it, they used two types“Wet” wood: European beech and spruce. By gluing individual thin elements, the researchers made layered boards. In the process of drying, one layer was compressed, and the second was not, forcing the entire board to bend without cracks. After obtaining the desired shape, the fragments were fastened to prevent their further changes, and then a whole demonstration structure was built from bent boards.
We also reported earlier that engineers found a way to make wood more than ten times stronger by creating an inexpensive and easy alternative to most metals and alloys.