Wood is a complex hierarchical composite, which has naturally evolved over millions of years. In competition for sunlight, tees and other lignin containing plants are aiming to grow higher than their rivalling neighbours do. Therefore, the composition and structure of their stems material are optimized for physical properties. Due to this, they can bear heavy loads such as gravity or wind. Because of these outstanding properties, humans utilize wood in many applications. Wood is the only sustainable bio-based material, which is available in large quantities worldwide. Its adequate use facilitates a turn towards a greener bio-economy.
The field of wood physics investigates the structure and properties of wood and other lignin containing plants to enable an ideal and sustainable use of wood as natural or artificial composites.
Main research areas are:
- Understanding of the hierarchical structure of wood and the contribution of the structural components on the physical properties
- Understanding the influence of moisture on the physics of wood
- Understanding the functioning of wood in artificial composites
- Understanding the surface characteristics of wood and their interfacial behaviour
- Development of new composites based on wood or other lignocellulosics
- Development of energy efficient processes for a bio-economy using wood composites
- Optimisation of wood products for recycling to facilitate a circular economy utilization and upcycling of low grade raw materials and secondary lignocellulosic resources