Wooden Nails and Other Cool Low-Tech Inventions

2 December 2020All, innovationgreen construction

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What’s the deal with wooden nails? How about paper microscopes and simple, cheap water filters? All over the world, new technology is popping up, and it’s different from the futuristic, expensive inventions that we’re used to thinking about. Many recent discoveries are made in the name of research, protection and survival.  Here are three incredible inventions that have emerged as our knowledge continues to advance.

  1. The Industrial Design magazine Core77 discussed wooden nails in a recent article. About two years ago, the Austrian BECK Fastener Group developed a type of wooden nails from beech that compare in strength to aluminum nails, plus they can be fired from a pneumatic nail gun. These nails resemble “a golf pencil without the lead,” and when fired into wood, the “high speed of insertion and resultant friction causes an effect called ‘lignin welding,’ whereby the heat essentially welds the nail in place.” Not coincidentally, the fastener is called the LignoLoc.

The advantages of these wooden nails are purportedly pretty awesome: the “fasteners don’t leave rust streaks, no pre-drilling is required, no glue is required, you can run a sander over the surface without tearing up the pad, and you can trim fastened pieces as needed without running your sawblade into a metal nail.” In addition, wooden nails allow recycling of wooden construction. There remain many situations where metal nails are necessary. But for those who are working on unique projects that preclude metal and for the “green” industry, the innovative wooden nail is stellar news.  Photos © Beck Fasteners.

  •  MIT Tech sings the praises of a newfound and easy way to filter water: sapwood. According to research, “a small piece of sapwood can filter out more than 99 percent of the E. coli bacteria present in water… the size of the pores in sapwood allows water through while blocking most types of bacteria.”

More research is yet to be done, but should sapwood prove to be an effective water filtration system, it may be a much more viable alternative than the filters we typically use today. In addition, those without access to filters because of cost or availability would experience a much-reduced barrier to clean water. Ideally, “a filter would be a thin slice of wood you could use for a few days, then throw it away and replace at almost no cost.” This is a far cry from what we’re used to now. Some water filters can cost hundreds of dollars initially, need to be replaced completely and wear out unpredictably.

  •  Foldscope Instruments’ paper microscope was “designed to be portable and durable, while performing on par with conventional research microscopes (140X magnification and 2-micron resolution).” The microscopes are available in individual and classroom packages, effectively breaking down barriers to scientific learning in many schools and areas that may be underfunded. The Foldscope mission is to “break down the price barrier between people & the curiosity and excitement of scientific exploration.”

If your company is considering the leap of faith in adopting new and innovative technology, you don’t have to face it alone. Partner with the industry experts of Applied Software and discover the resources and resiliency for your business to grow and thrive.

 

 

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