LignoLoc: the first collated nails made of wood

In the Netherlands, today it’s the Day of Sustainability, and one of the most sustainable materials is wood (provided that it is sustainably sourced). Unfortunately, people still have to rely on metal nails and screws, which often remain visible, or glue to attach the wood together, both of which make it hard to recycle the material. The company Beck Fasteners has come up with a solution: wooden nails, called LignoLoc.

The nails are made of beech wood, compressed with a resin to make them hard, and come in lengths up to 65 mm (2.5 inches). Beech wood was especially chosen as it is indigenous to Austria, where Beck is situated, and because its straight growth gives it the most homogenous cell structure.

It is possible to drive the nails in with a hammer, without pre-drilling, as the hardness of the wooden nails is comparable to aluminium ones, but Beck recommends using their special LignoLoc pneumatic nailer. While that sounds like a good way to sell more tools, Beck explains that the nailer generates a large amount of heat by friction as the nail is driven into the wood. This heat welds the nail with the surrounding wood to form a substance-to-substance bond, something that won’t happen when using a hammer.

The University of Vienna has reseached the carbon footprint of the nails. Although the nails contain resin, the carbon footprint is below zero, meaning the complete manufacturing process of the nails emits less carbon dioxide than it is already saved in the used beech wood.

The wooden nails are hardly visible, unlike metal alternatives, and they do not streak or bleed into the wood. Compared to wooden dowels, they are much easier to install. After use, the nails can be recycled or reclaimed with the wood itself and no separating process is necessary.

Photos: Beck Fasteners