h a l f b a k e r y
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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.
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.
||The bark of a tree isn't fluid; it won't just passively grow
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.
||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.
||What's probably needed is some sort of GM Magic to
persuade trees to grow more radial fibres (some
already do, I think - oak?).
||General Motors is dicking about with technology to
grow radial tyres out of wood? Wow! You got links
for that, [MB]?
||While you're at it, make the trees grow square - [link]. I
agree with [MB] that the need is for radial reinforcement
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)