Swiss create sustainable – and legal – ebony substitute

Swiss Info
October 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Researchers have developed a way to modify domestic Swiss wood species to mimic the acoustic properties of the endangered tropical hardwood ebony, long prized as a key material in violin-making. The start-up, Swiss Wood Solutions, was founded by researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) and the federal technology institute ETH Zurich. It uses sustainably grown Swiss maple in its process, which involves soaking, drying and then pressing the wood with a heat press. The end product is a wood with similar acoustic properties to prized tropical woods like ebony, used in violin and viola-making, or grenadilla, used to build clarinets and oboes.

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