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Russian Lab Unveils Coated Wood Composite

Thursday, December 22, 2016

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Scientists at a Russian university say they have developed a way to create a wood-polymer hybrid nanocomposite that is far stronger and more durable than natural wood, and a specialized coating is involved.

Timbers
© iStock.com / funebre

Scientists at a Russian university say they have developed a way to create a wood-polymer hybrid nanocomposite that is far stronger and more durable than natural wood.

Professor Andrey Ponomarev and Ph.D. student Alexander Rassochin, of the Institute of Engineering and Building, at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, use epoxy-based coatings and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic to create the strong, lightweight material, according to Russian news agency Tass.

Epoxy with Nanoparticles

One of the keys is EpoxyPAN, a coating Ponomarev and associates at the school developed. The spray-applied, epoxy-based coating can be applied to a number of substrates, from wood to concrete and steel, the scientists say. EpoxyPAN, according to previous publications by Ponomarev, is a water-soluble epoxy resin filled with high-strength inorganic fillers and unique nanocarbon particles.

Ponomarev has also put forth research suggesting that EpoxyPAN could be useful in applications involving so-called “smart” or “clever” houses, playing into systems to help keep the buildings energy-efficient.

By taking wood and adding one epoxy-based coating, then covering it with a grid of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic then a coating of EpoxyPAN, the scientists say they’ve made a wood product that’s durable, as well as resistant to water damage and fire.

Strength, Longevity

"The new [material] by far exceeds raw wood in durability and longevity, with the best properties of wood remaining untouched," the researchers told Tass.

Besides obvious uses in residential and commercial structures, the researchers see applications for the composite wood in the construction of structures like electrical transmission towers and bridges, according to the report from Tass. They say that the material is 40 percent lighter than similar metal materials, and is 10 percent less expensive.

   

Tagged categories: Building materials; Colleges and Universities; Epoxy; Research; Wood

Comment from Catherine Brooks of Eco-Strip, (12/23/2016, 10:43 AM)

I see the PROS of buildings becoming more durable and energy-efficient. Does anyone know of any CONS such as the additives off-gasing or other harmful side effects? Many building materials such as asbestos were seen as major building material improvements in their day, but now are being banned.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/2/2017, 9:55 AM)

What's unique or new about this? Wrapping CFRP around structural elements and using epoxy as the bonding agent to increase strength and stiffness is a well-established technique, including on wood elements.


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