Wood is derived from living trees and therefore, changes its shape depending upon its moisture content. A number of techniques exist that can be used for curving the wood by hand. Machines that are used for curving the wood will simply grind or cut the parts off that are not required. Of course, it gets the job done.
This is an undesired effect since it generally causes wood warping. However, the team of scientists was able to utilize the warping process in a way that benefited them. They glued two layers of wood together, thus creating a bilayer panel. A bilayer panel is defined as an assembly of wood where the grain directions are opposed to one another.
When the water content of the bilayer panel is decreased, one layer shrinks more as opposed to the other. Markus Rüggeberg explains, ‘Both layers are firmly glued together, so the wood bends. ’ Markus is affiliated with EMPA and ETH. He led the study as well.
The scientists have termed their technique as ‘wood programming. ’ They rely on the thickness of the layers, grain direction, and the moisture content of the wood for creating a computer model that helps them to calculate the precise warpage of the building component while it dries. Once the bilayer panel has attained its goal, it can be glued together to other bilayer panels. Philippe Grönquist is the lead author of the study and said, ‘Our approach enables a wide range of shapes and curvature radii.
The structure built by the team has been named as Urbach Tower. It is located in the small town of Urbach in Germany.