In the blacksmith’s house, wooden knives: this wooden knife is three times sharper than the steel ones
The famous saying has become more true than ever after the investigation of Teng Li, who has managed to create a knife with a special wood processing.
Thanks to this treatment, this researcher has created a wooden knife that is three times sharper than a conventional steel eating knife, and 23 times harder than natural wood.
A great “superwood”, but expensive
Li’s research was geared toward look for alternatives to “hard materials” such as steel, aluminum or ceramic materials. Their environmental footprint is often high and they are difficult to recycle, so the idea was to look for options that would solve these problems.
It is there where Li began to create variants of the wood. It occurred to him to reinforce what makes it hard and resistant and what does not, and basically created a “superwood” which he called “hardened wood” with the advantage of being cheaper than metal and renewable.
To achieve this, it got rid of the components of the wood that subtract solidity and robustness, but kept the cellulose intact which is the fundamental reason for its natural strength. After removing what was left over, he applied pressure and heat to the chemically processed wood to thicken it and remove the water.
With that hardened wood he created a knife that he then bathed in mineral oil to avoid the natural tendency of cellulose to absorb water. With that he managed to extend the useful life of the material and also enabled another interesting feature: that those knives can be put in the dishwasher.
The result? A knife that was almost three times sharper than the stainless steel knives we often use for lunch and dinner, and whose wood is 23 times harder than natural wood. Cutting a ribeye to the point was, researchers say, sew and sing with this knife. They also made nails as hard as conventional metal nails.
The only problem, as our fellow Magnets point out, is that the transition to wooden knives is unrealistic: deforestation is one of the great problems of our world, but it is also that wood is at exorbitant prices although things have become quite relaxed lately.
Via | New Atlas
More information | Matter