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Going large

Shelby Knight
2018-03-09T00:55:05+00:00

What is the largest object that has been created using this method so far? I was watching a (I think it was a Ted talk) about the idea of replacing steel with wood for sky scrapers using a layering method that creates sheets of wood that are more resistant to fire and are comparable in strength. So I wondered, if sheets of this new mycelium material were layered in a similar fashion, and thickness, would we have something even better? Stronger? Especially if they were layered when wet....

Douwe Jan Schrale
2018-03-09T09:32:11+00:00

shelby what is your location?

Shelby Knight
2018-03-09T02:17:01+00:00

Looking at the production of the CLT, it seems they layer them in alternating layers of thickness, 1/2" and 3/4" boards. If you created layers of similar thickness, could you compress them individually just enough to add strength to each layer and allow them to grow together prior to the final stack and a final compression before baking? I'm wondering how the compression to extract liquids might affect it's ability to grow together.

Shelby Knight
2018-03-09T01:39:08+00:00

I would try it if I had the space and material! My husband is a builder/framer and I am convinced this could be a wonderful alternative to the current cross laminated wood. It would take a lot of material than a bag or two and it would need thorough testing against the CLT for comparison. But it's lighter weight, so shipping would be less costly (smaller transport footprint) and it's very durable as is. By layering it the same way, it has to only bolster it's strength.

Shane Boland
2018-03-09T01:32:25+00:00

Just watched that Economist video. This is 100% possible with mycelium material. • it is easy to grow panels this size because they are thin, so oxygen can reach every spot within the panel. • you are absolutely right. if the mycelium panels were layered together while still wet, they would literally grow together creating an even stronger bond Who‘s going to try this? This is a fantastic idea.

Shane Boland
2018-03-09T01:29:34+00:00

The main issue with making large items is oxygen/c02 exchange. The mycelium needs to be able to breathe. For example, if you were trying to grow a very large 6ft. x 6ft. x 6ft. cube, the mycelium in the center of the cube wouldn’t be able to breathe. So you don’t want any spot in the center of your piece to be more than 3-4 inches away from an outer edge. So you could technically grow a massive panel that is 100 ft wide x 100 ft long as long as it was only 4" deep. Hope that makes sense :)

Shelby Knight
2018-03-09T01:16:30+00:00

It was the economist, not a Ted talk https://youtu.be/2DPp2NcnTb0