The latest: Wooden Bed Slats could have more than 20% improvement
A new study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology shows that wooden bed slabs could have 10% more energy than standard wood beams.
This could make them ideal for homes that need to be energy efficient and to reduce their carbon footprint.
“In a nutshell, these are just some of the ideas that we were looking at, whether it’s for home or office or even for transportation,” says NIST research manager Chris Dabney.
Wooden bed beams are made from a mix of fiberglass, plastic, and other materials that provide a structural strength and stiffness.
They’re typically made from wood, which has a low carbon footprint and high energy density.
“Our initial research focused on a single beam structure that was about 12 inches across, but we think it would be really good to extend that,” says DabNEY.NIST was able to determine the energy efficiency of various designs by measuring the energy density and thermal conductivity of each piece.
They found that wood beams have about 10% higher thermal conductivities than standard beams, and 20% higher energy densities.
The researchers also found that wooden beams could potentially be better at reducing carbon emissions because of the way they are constructed.
“It’s not just a matter of reducing the energy footprint, but also by reducing the amount of energy you’re putting into the system,” Dabneys says.
“So you could theoretically use less wood and more energy per square foot.”
Researchers also found the most energy-efficient wood beams are the most efficient in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Wood beams that were made from plastic, which is also a major greenhouse gas, also have lower energy density than wood beams made from fiberglass.
Wood beams have the advantage of being lightweight, which makes them ideal to make in large-scale homes or warehouses that need higher energy density, as well as to homes where cooling and air conditioning needs to be taken into account.NIS also found wood beams could be a good choice for buildings with narrow walls.
These walls can absorb heat, reducing the need for additional energy and providing a way to reduce the amount that heat needs to move through the building.
Researchers found that a variety of materials could be used to make wood beams, including materials such as cellulose and polyethylene.
Wood can also be manufactured from plastic with no carbon footprint, and some materials are resistant to heat and acid, which could reduce the energy cost of making wood beams as well.
“We were interested in looking at a wide range of materials,” says study co-author Dr. Peter L. Wray, a structural engineer at the University of Arizona.
“Some materials that we thought would be great for this were the carbon-dioxide absorbing fibers, the polymer materials that would be a lot more attractive, or the polyethylenes that are quite resistant to acids.”