The US has created a knife made from wood that is significantly sharper than steel
American researchers have developed a potentially more environmentally friendly way to make sharp knives - from wood. The knife made from wood using the new technology is almost three times sharper than knives made from standard stainless steel.
According to EurekAlert, the knife was created by scientists from the University of Maryland. Thanks to the fact that chemists extracted the components that make wood soft: hemicellulose and lignin, it became 23 times stronger.
"During the research, it was decided to remove the 'weak' part of the wood, while preserving the cellulose structure," the experiment description says.
Describing the process of making a knife from wood, the experts noted that after removing lignin (a substance that characterizes the lignified walls of plant cells), the wood became more flexible and brittle, but this problem was solved by pressing the material at high temperature.
The specialists then coated the finished material with mineral oil to prevent the wood from absorbing water.
The processed wood was used to make a knife. It was used to cut medium-rare steaks and washed repeatedly, just like other kitchen utensils. It has not lost its properties. The publication also notes that knives made of such wood can be sharpened in the same way as metal ones.
Scientists have noted that this method of strengthening wood can be more energy efficient and have a less harmful impact on the environment than other methods of producing artificial materials. However, they intend to conduct a more in-depth analysis to make this statement with confidence.
The experts added that nails made of wood processed in this way can be as strong and sharp as steel nails. According to scientists, another possible application for modernized wood could be the manufacture of parquet with ultra-wear-resistant characteristics.