Utilisation-oriented investigations of low-value hardwood assortments for the production of innovative products

Subproject 3a: "Value chain hardwood (solid) from low-value assortments"

The focus of the work is on indigenous hardwood species; beech, oak, ash, maple and birch. The aim is to make hardwood for use in construction economically viable (i.e. to produce the product more efficiently and thus more cost-effectively). The work plan for Subproject 3a is divided into the following work packages:
  • Work package 1: Value chain analysis of weak hardwood (up to max. 3b)
    • Identification of the value chain with a focus on timber products (possible use of the results for the furniture or parquet industry).
    • For this purpose, individual elements of the value chain are determined and the weak points of the chain are analysed. Elements with a great need for optimization are considered weak points.
  • Work package 2: Procurement and production of suitable raw material for drying processes
    • Provision of representative sample material for drying.
    • The range of sawing technology available from the department as well as industry contact to sawmills makes it possible to simulate the different sawing patterns and thus to monitor the influence of the optimizations on the overall yield.
  • Work package 3: Optimization of drying processes
    • Reduction of drying time and energy consumption with consistently high drying quality.
    • Adaptation of drying to selected wood types, qualities and dimensions.
    • Various contact to other researchers, the sawmill industry, and machine builders will be made. In addition, the Wood Biology and Wood Products Department has a high-temperature dryer, which is highly flexible in its control system and is well suited for semi-industrial drying tests.
  • Work package 4: Finger-jointing and gluing
    • Effect of wood characteristics on finger-jointing production and overall yield.
    • Investigation into strength of the finger-joints (longitudinal bonding).
  • Work package 5: Evaluation of results and communication with actors in the value chain
    • Hier sollen die Ergebnisse der einzelnen Arbeitspakete miteinander verknüpft werden. Die entwickelten Optimierungen der einzelnen Elemente der Wertschöpfungskette werden kritisch evaluiert. Während der einzelnen Untersuchungen werden ständig die Ausbeuten analysiert und die Einflussparameter auf die Ausbeuten quantifiziert. Überdies sollen die Potenziale der einzelnen Holzarten im Baubereich Anwendung zu finden quantifiziert werden. Die Ergebnisse werden auf Kongressen mit wissenschaftlichen Kollegen und Vertretern aus der Wirtschaft diskutiert und über Veröffentlichungen in Zeitschriften der Fachwelt zugänglich gemacht.

    Subproject 3b:"Use of hardwoods for the production of insulating materials”

    The future change in the supply situation on the timber market, with a decline in the volume of softwoods towards an increase in the hardwood, is the reason for carrying out this feasibility study. Up until today, wood fibre insulating materials have mainly been produced from the fibres of conifers. The impending shortage of this raw material has necessitated a rethink. In cooperation with other partners, the project is developing methods for the production of insulating materials from hardwoods that reduce the required proportion of softwood fibres. In the first step, fibres from ash, birch and beech (due to their high availability), are obtained and characterized as the basis for further investigations. During the production of the insulating materials, the coniferous wood components in the material are gradually substituted or completely replaced with the hardwood fibres. Using different adhesive systems and biocomponent fibers ("biofibres"), the low-grade starting woods are processed into insulation boards and their mechanical-technological properties are determined afterwards. Furthermore, treatment with various fire retardants and the evaluation of the usability and efficiency in combination with the hardwood fibers will also be carried out.