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forest products laboratory

Transparent Wood Could Be the Window of the Future

Could looking through trees be the view to a greener future? Trees replacing the clear pane glass in your windows is not a work of science fiction. It’s happening now.

Better Adhesives Mean Stronger, Cheaper Wood Products

Although engineered wood — such as plywood or particle board — is great for a range of building and manufacturing uses, it has its limitations, especially in outdoor applications. One of the biggest limitations is not the wood, but the adhesive used to glue the wood veneers or particles together. These adhesives are one of the most significant costs in manufactured wood products.

Revolutionary Carbon Foam from Wood

Carbon foam — a stiff, porous structure formed from a web of carbon atoms — is the stuff of manufacturers’ dreams. The breakthrough material is strong but lightweight, non-flammable and able to maintain its performance at high temperatures, and capable of absorbing sound and radiation. This unique combination of traits means carbon foam is brimming with potential applications across military, aerospace, and commercial industries. It is ideal for aircraft and ship insulation, wall panels, stealth technology (to avoid radar detection) and more.

The Revolutionary Role of Wood in our Future

Some people are just way ahead of their time. In the mid-20th century, when most people thought of wood as an archaic and low-tech material, Egon Glesinger foresaw the revolutionary role it would play in our future, described in his book The Coming Age of Wood.