Is represented by the Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Materials. The Institute deals with basic and application-oriented research in wood and natural fibre technology. The team of BOKU includes Prof. Wolfgang Gindl-Altmutter, Matthias Jakob (PhD-student) and Ivana Czabany (Post-Doc).
The initial phase of the project involves the optimization of the delignification and densification processes at the small scale. For this purpose, two different delignification processes, namely an alkali treatment and an organosolv treatment, and three different wood species will be examined. We aim for partially delignified veneers that exhibit excellent mechanical properties and stability after densification. This approach should facilitate the upcoming upscaling processes.
The densification process will be optimized in terms of degree of densification and minimization of the cell wall damages and the spring-back. This will be achieved by variation of temperature, pressure and moisture content.
While the modified surfaces will require special binder systems, different structural adhesives will be tested on these new materials. Moreover, novel binders designed especially for these modified surfaces by the project partners, will be tested and evaluated.
For BOKU, the initial phase will be finished, when the treated veneers could be glued together in such a way that the mechanical properties exhibit a strength higher than 250 MPa and a stiffness higher than 25 GPa.
In the second phase, different conservation methods to reduce swelling and spring-back, the two most common disadvantages of the densified wood, will be evaluated. The challenging task will be to identify a suitable conservation technique, which affects neither the mechanical properties nor the gluing behavior in a negative way.
The third phase will be focused on the upscaling process. The optimized processing parameters will be used for the production of specimens with the length up to 1 m. If applicable, new perceptions will be considered and process parameters will be accordingly adjusted. The aim of this phase will be to produce LVL-like beams suitable for automotive applications.
Dr. Ivana Czabany