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In the future, wooden knives might become the new black and chefs all around the world might opt for them as a permanent replacement for metal knives. This may come across as ludicrous, but a study appearing in the journal Matter on Oct. 20 shows that scientists have worked out a way to make a wooden knife that is a whopping three times sharper than the stainless-steel knives we use today. The research is being conducted in the University of Maryland and the scientist heading the research is Teng Li. Wooden knives would now be found along wooden utensils in kitchens across the world, He said. He also explained that “Wood is not a stranger to our kitchen cutlery set or utensils. “We have many wooden things that we have been using for quite some time now.” These knives can be reused once resurfaced sharpened.”

“wooden knives might become the new black”

 

The process of making hardened wood is really quite simple, said Li. Wood gets much of its strength from cellulose, the substance that makes up the fibers  of the wood. The team aims to increase the cellulose in the wood and reduce the components that weren’t cellulose. In particular,  they target lignin, which acts like a kind of glue in normal wood, binding fibers together. “We use chemicals to remove lignin and after the first step, the wood becomes soft, flexible and somewhat squishy,” said Li.

 

“Wood gets much of its strength from cellulose”

“So the second step is that we apply pressure. We also increase the temperature. The purpose of that is to really densify the natural wood and also remove the water, reducing its thickness to around 20 percent of the original natural wood.”

 

Believe it or not, wooden cutlery can turn out to be quite useful because the strength to density ratio is remarkably higher than man-made materials, like steel and ceramics. The knife’s function is impressive, but its manufacturing process could also be important. The team writes that it might be a “renewable and low-cost alternative” with “the potential to replace plastic table utensils.”

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