Weathering protection of wood surfaces
Modern wooden constructions require - particularly for façades - visually attractive and durable surface coatings. However, various problems regarding the surface protection of weather exposed wood are still not satisfactorily solved and the durability is principally limited. In several research projects in cooperation with industrial partners new concepts and functionalized treatments (partly based on nanoscaled components) for an improved moisture, UV and biological protection are developed and their long-term durability is tested.
Currently three specific surface-related projects are running within the frame of NRP66 'Resource Wood': www.nfp66.ch
- Modified nanofibrillated cellulose in surface coatings (Link to project description http://www.nfp66.ch/E/projects/wood-material-for-components/cellulose-nanofibrils-wood-coatings/Pages/default.aspx )
- Wood surface functionalisation using photoinitiators (Link to project description http://www.nfp66.ch/E/projects/wood-material-for-components/wood-surface-functionalisation-photoinitiators/Pages/default.aspx )
- Development of a natural UV-protection of wood surfaces by cellulose-rich layers (Link to project description http://www.nfp66.ch/E/projects/wood-material-for-components/natural-uv-protection-wood-surfaces/Pages/default.aspx )
In the frame of the European research project "SERVOWOOD" we work on the development of test methods for a reliable service life prediction of coated wood surfaces (Links: http://www.servowood.eu/, Press release May, 14th, 2014)
Properties and utilization of modified wood
Wood as a 'natural' material exhibits properties, which depending on the application are unwanted (e.g. hygroscopicity, limited durability). By various modification processes it is possible to purposefully change selected wood properties. Thus, new types of wood based materials emerge, whose properties markedly differ from the starting material. For successful applications of modified wood, its distinct properties have to be studied and considered.
Currently the heat treatment of wood is a particularly popular method, which can considerably improve the dimensional stability and durability. While in Scandinavia mainly softwoods are heat treated, in middle Europe also hardwoods are used. In a series of projects we particularly explore the properties of heat treated beech wood.