UltraWood 5: Petrified wood

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Petrified wood is another ultrawood.  Petrified wood is easy to make and the patents on it expired in 2006.  Basically in my view here is the real process:

Soak wood in silicate solution

Let lignin degrade and the released carboxilic acids neutralizing the silicate (extra acid like citric or malic acid can be used to speed up the process if desired) transforming it into silica gel, preferably at an increased temperature with steam or warm water vapor present to prevent drying out and allow silica gel to crystalize into quartz.

Let dry out.  Repeat process as necessary.

Basically what is happening is you are creating quartz crystal within the wood.

This process can also use steps from other ultrawood posts or other steps entirely.  Some examples could be oxalic acid bath, hydroxide and/or urea baths, etc.

My current process would be:

Oxalic acid boil till wood sinks then boil in water wash

hydroxide/urea at room temp and/or freeze then no wash

oxalic acid boil then boil in water wash

silicate (with hydrogen peroxide if desired to help break lignin into acids) room temp soak

renove most of liquid and hold in moist environment for lignin to neutralize silicate to form silicagel.

oven dry at 300c or press at 300c till dry.

Uses for this could again be similar to other ultrawood types however this will be harder than those but more brittle.  Uses could include cutting and piercing items like knives arrowheards as well as grips like knife grips and gun grips.  Also would be great for floors and countertops.  Can add certain minerals to the sodium silicate to produce unique colors.

great article

silica group

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