Applied Wood Materials  
Bio-engineered Wood
Cellulose Nanocomposites
Wood Technology/Surface Technology

Bio-inspired Wood Materials

Wood is a versatile, renewable material with various applications in modern society as construction material (e.g. beams, boards, veneers), as resource for bio-based polymers and monomers (e.g. cellulose for paper, lignin derived chemicals), and as an energy source (e.g. biofuels and firewood). As with any other material, the inherent characteristics of wood include both beneficial and challenging properties - how specific properties are viewed depends on the situation. For instance, being a biologically degradable material is beneficial for recycling, but a challenge for structures in service. The aim of our group is to expand the utilization of wood by tailoring performance of wood material to specific applications, thus improving beneficial properties and meeting the challenges which limit the use of wood in specific applications.

Focus topics

Wood material improvement: expanding wood applicability by chemical modification

  • direct and targeted modification of the wood nanostructure with synthetic polymers
  • transferring concepts of bio-mineralization for embedding minerals into the wood structure
  • making wood inert to various types of degradation, e.g. biological (interaction between water and fungi), chemical (UV-light) or physical (fire)
  • making wood hydrophobic and dimensionally stable


Wood with novel functionalities: high-end products for technical applications

  • making hybrid wood materials, tailored to specific applications
  • deposition of nanoparticles to provide new material properties to wood, e.g. magnetic
  • utilizing the porous wood structure for switchable membranes


Bio-inspired actuation systems: automatically convertible structures

  • exploring Nature's design principles behind water actuated structural movement, e.g. the opening of a drying pine cone or the unfolding of ice plant seed capsules upon wetting
  • using this responsiveness to changes in air humidity for convertible elements that move as a result of daily changes in air humidity or rain exposure
  • exploring of architectural and constructional potential of convertible elements, e.g. moving facade elements, sunshades or for solar tracking solar panels

Analysis of wood material behaviour: fundamental knowledge from in-depth characterisation

  • exploring Nature's design principles and mechanisms governing wood behaviour
  • characterisation of effects of wood modifications on the nano-, micro- and macro-levels
  • uncover the fundamentals of wood behaviour by in-depth experimental investigations employing state-of-the-art techniques


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