A chemical bath and a hot-press can transform wood into a material that is stronger than steel, researchers report. The process, and others like it, could make the humble material an eco-friendly alternative to using plastics and metals in the manufacture of cars and buildings.

“It’s a new class of materials with great potential,” says Li Teng, a mechanics specialist at the University of Maryland in College Park and a co-author of the study published on 7 February in Nature1.

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Category: Science