Steel Vs Crushed Wood – Which Is Stronger?

If you ask most people to do a comparison of steel and crushed wood, they would instantly want to know why. Wood and steel are utilized in the construction of commercial and industrial buildings, houses, apartment complexes, hospitals, fire departments, and government entities. Without these two very important materials, it would nearly impossible to build anything of substance.

Of course, you could utilize rock, tin, and aluminum but if you want your building to last for a long time, steel and wood are a necessity. Still, this does not tell us anything about the strength of these two materials. Which is stronger, crushed wood or steel? Find the answer and much more in the article below.


Steel Or Crushed Wood – Which Is Stronger?

If you do a visual side-by-side comparison of crushed wood and steel, you would instantly think steel to be the stronger of the two. According to a study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Maryland, steel and crushed wood are both very strong materials. The study gave the researchers an opportunity to work with crushed wood. The process utilized by the researchers involved high temperatures just under 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.5 degrees Celsius).

What Process Did The Researchers Use?

University of Maryland researchers began the study by striping lining from the wood. Lignin is a substance naturally food in wood. It is responsible for the brown coloration of the wood. It also makes wood stiff and rigid. Without lignin, wood would be flexible and bendable. Fortunately, this is not the case because it would be virtually useless for builders and other development contractors.

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The crushed wood and lignin were mixed together utilized heat just below 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.5 degrees Celsius). These high temperatures were utilized because it permitted the researchers to manipulate the cellulose fibers in the wood mixture, resulting in a more compact structure. 

The next step involved treating the newly compressed wood with a special type of paint. The tightly compact wood formed what is known as hydrogen bonds. If you are familiar with hydrogen bonds, you know they are very strong. 

What is Lyocell made from? Lyocell is made from natural wood pulp. Utilizing, Lyocell instead of cotton, polyester, linen, and other materials, clothing manufacturers can create longer-lasting products that will endure the test of time.

Thin But Strong

The unique process utilized by the researchers would allow manufacturers to create a substance that would be stronger than traditional titanium alloys. Utilizing this same process, airplane and automobile manufacturers, as well as construction contractors and developers could create products made of wood instead of steel.

How Was The Processed Wood Tested?

The researchers completed the study with a strength test. The processed wood was put to the test utilizing a special tool that shoots projectiles. The projectiles were very similar to real bullets. 

A comparison of natural wood and processed wood was also completed utilizing the projectiles. The projectiles went clear through the natural wood but not the processed wood. The projectiles only penetrated the processed wood “partway”. So, they were unable to go through the wood completely. 

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