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Treenforced Wood

Tree grows into artificial collar of polymer strands
  [vote for,

If given enough time, a growing tree will envelop structures that are situated nearby (like fences), until the foreign body is completely embedded in the wood. By exploiting this process, one might be able to produce wood that is impregnated with various types of artificial fibers, either for functional or decorative purposes.

As a loom holds warp threads spread equidistantly apart, the fibers are strung between two circular plates and kept under tension. The bottom plate is planted in the dirt, beneath the lateral root network of a sapling. The apical plate is suspended above the tree by a support. Fiber that is spooled around the apical plate is unwound as the tree grows.

To prevent the fiber cylinder from bulging outwards as the tree grows, the fibers are crosslinked by weft threads in some fashion.

Cuit_au_Four, May 05 2012

Square Trees http://www.straight...o-grow-square-trees
Uses scarification as a positive force. [AusCan531, May 05 2012]


       Interesting, but isn't this providing longitudinal reinforcement? What you really want is radial reinforcement (that being the direction in which wood is weakest). It would also be nice if the reinforcing fibres were pre-tensioned.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 05 2012

       The bark of a tree isn't fluid; it won't just passively grow around and through things. It will only envelope something that absolutely cannot be pushed out of the way, and in doing so an actual wound is created in the tree. I would think that the cross-linking weft fibers would have to be enourmously strong, like spider-silk strong, in order to resist displacement. I also wonder if the resultant scarification would compromise the integrity of the wood, which, after all, might envelope the fiber cylinder, but will not bond to it.
Alterother, May 05 2012

       Not sure this can't be done better with fibreglass or reinforced resins. Wood is a slow, unsure method by comparison and still subject to decay and failure as soon as you harvest it.
UnaBubba, May 05 2012

       What's probably needed is some sort of GM Magic to persuade trees to grow more radial fibres (some already do, I think - oak?).
MaxwellBuchanan, May 05 2012

       General Motors is dicking about with technology to grow radial tyres out of wood? Wow! You got links for that, [MB]?
UnaBubba, May 05 2012

       While you're at it, make the trees grow square - [link]. I agree with [MB] that the need is for radial reinforcement with pretensioning.
AusCan531, May 05 2012

       Awesome link.
Must try once.

       I am thinking about trying with bamboo cuz I'm not patient enough to experiment with trees. (Yes, I know bamboo is hollow and I won't reap the same benefit but at least I will get a result - maybe)
AusCan531, May 05 2012


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