Environment Innovation Science & Physics Technology

Scientists create wood that could compete with concrete and steel

The super-strong wood that could…

Imagine a material capable of reflecting sunlight, almost as strong as steel, and be preferable alternative to concrete. Incredible as it sounds, scientists at the University of Maryland have created a wood straight out of science fiction:

Researchers at the University of Maryland have re-designed the material to make it entirely impervious to visible light, while only absorbing the slightest levels of near-infrared light.


That kind of strength, in addition to the insulation factor, could make the new wood a solid candidate for transforming the concrete and steel jungle of a city into something closer to a real jungle.


Replacing concrete from a standing start is going to be a major challenge, given how versatile concrete is, but the environment benefits here would significant — concrete has an enormous carbon footprint.

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.