Wood and Surface Technology

The use of wood and wood products as building material strongly depends on their material, processing and use properties. The group «Wood Technology/Surface Technology» is involved in the analysis and the improvement of these properties in the fields of wood physics and mechanical technology as well as regarding weathering protection and adhesive bonding. A special focus is put on the wood surfaces, where the primary interaction with other materials and the environment takes place. The activities range from «forest oriented» wood research (forestry – wood chain, interface forest – wood processing) to the use characteristics of assembled wooden components and thus cover the wide area from raw-material to end-use applications.


Focus topics:

Properties and utilisation of native wood species
  • Physical and mechanical properties of wood and wood products (wood quality, grading)
  • Properties and potential use of less-exploited (native) wood species or grades (e.g. Sweet chestnut)
  • Modified wood (e.g. Thermowood, Bioincising)
  • Improvement of wooden components and products (e.g. windows, façade cladding, flooring elements)
Weathering protection
  • Protective surface treatments of wood and wood products (effectiveness, durability, environmental impact)
  • Nanotechnology for surface protection / Functionalised wood surfaces (e.g. hydrophobisation)
  • Moisture-related processes in (weather exposed) wooden components


Adhesive bonding
  • Moisture- and temperature resistance (reliability)
  • Application of coupling agents for the adhesive bonding of wood
  • Effect of wood extractives on bond quality
  • Glue line assessment
  • Quality control
Competences / methods
  • Mechanical and moisture-related material tests (solid wood, wood-based materials, composites)
  • Microscopy of biological materials (light microscopy, SEM, TEM, UV-microscopy, partly with elemental analysis)
  • Surface characterization:
    - visual assessments, microscopy
    - Colour, gloss
    - Topography, roughness
    - Hardness
    - Wetting behavior (contact angle, surface energy)
  • Coatings:
    - Film structure, film thickness
    - Adhesion
    - Natural und artificial weathering tests (EN 927)
  • Adhesive bonding:
    - Mechanical tests of bond line integrity (e.g. EN 205, EN 302-1, EN 392)
    - Delamination (e.g. EN 302-2, EN 391)
  • Special methods:
    - Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA)

Industry cooperation / services
  • R&D projects
  • Material tests/characterization
  • Damage analysis
  • Expert's reports
  • Consulting