Wood Material Technology

The Wood Material Technology group, headed by Professor Mark Hughes, provides teaching and conducts research in the area of wood technology. The group has strong links with the wood processing industry in Finland and abroad as well as having strong collaborations with other research groups both nationally and internationally.
Wood Material Technology team

Wood is a truly renewable material that, unlike many other materials, requires little energy to convert it into functional products. Synthesised from sunlight and carbon dioxide, trees sequester atmospheric CO2 during growth and when converted to wood products, the carbon is stored away until the “trapped” carbon is released by burning or natural biodegradation. This means that long-lasting wooden structures and artefacts can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make a positive contribution to combating Climate Change. Wood has many other attributes too. In addition to being an excellent structural material it can act as moisture buffer, helping to control the interior environment of buildings. It is also a good thermal and sound insulator as well as visually appealing. Wood also forms the basis of a range of wood-composite products that can be extremely resource efficient and its properties can be modified to provide new functionality. Finally, unlike money, wood really does grow on trees!

Teaching in wood science and technology now forms part of the Fiber and Polymer Engineering major under the Master's Program in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering. It is continually being developed to ensure that students are given the most up-to-date education in this rapidly evolving field. As such, the teaching carried out very much reflects the research activities of the group. As part of Aalto Wood – a collaboration between the departments of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Forest Products Technology - we contribute to the multi-disciplinary education of students of architecture, civil and structural engineering, believing that there is huge potential for wood to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Research themes

Current research falls under two broad categories:

  1.  The use of wood in healthy and climate-smart buildings
  2. Utilization of bio-based fibers in high performance polymer matrix composites

 

Under the category of the use of wood in healthy and climate-smart buildings, research themes include:

  • Wood as a means to mitigate climate change

Forestry and wood industry have a role in mitigating climate change. We look into the wood supply chain and the potential of wood products as carbon storage, collaborating with the wood processing industry in Finland.

  • Wood as a sustainable building material

The sustainability assessment of buildings includes environmental, economical and social aspects. We assess the contribution of wood materials in sustainable buildings through a life cycle approach.

  • Wood as a cascading product

To promote a sustainable use of wood products is important to increase recirculation of wood materials. We analyse the environmental impacts of different wood cascading options: energy recovery, recycling and reuse.

  • Wood as a buffering material for indoor air quality and thermal comfort

Wood materials are increasingly used in the built environment, besides they can contribute to the well-being of users in buildings. We investigate the contribution of wooden products in the indoor air quality and thermal comfort of buildings.

Earlier and ongoing research projects

Project map
Map of the earlier and ongoing research projects.

For further information, please contact Professor Mark Hughes, email [email protected], or any of the staff.

Latest publications

Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering, Department of Built Environment, Wood Material Technology, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design

Quantifying the sensation of temperature : A new method for evaluating the thermal behaviour of building materials

Publishing year: 2019 Energy and Buildings
Wood Material Technology, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Various polymeric monomers derived from renewable rosin for the modification of fast-growing poplar wood

Publishing year: 2019 Composites Part B: Engineering
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Lignin Chemistry, Wood Material Technology

Phenol-formaldehyde resins with suitable bonding strength synthesized from "less-reactive" hardwood lignin fractions

Publishing year: 2019 Holzforschung
Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Wood Material Technology

A dynamic modelling approach for simulating climate change impact on energy and hygrothermal performances of wood buildings

Publishing year: 2018 BUILDING SIMULATION
Clean Technologies, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Wood Material Technology

Forest sector circular economy development in Finland

Publishing year: 2018 Journal of Cleaner Production
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Department of Forest Products Technology, Wood Material Technology

The anisotropic temperature rise on wood surfaces during adsorption measured by thermal imaging

Publishing year: 2018 Wood Science and Technology
Department of Forest Products Technology, Department of Architecture, Wood Material Technology, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

The potential for cascading wood from demolished buildings

Publishing year: 2017 International Wood Products Journal
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Wood Material Science, Energy Conversion, Wood Material Technology

The influence of extractives on the sorption characteristics of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Publishing year: 2017 Journal of Materials Science
Department of Built Environment, Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Wood Material Technology

Sensory and emotional perception of wooden surfaces through fingertip touch

Publishing year: 2017 Frontiers in Psychology
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Department of Forest Products Technology, Wood Material Technology, Wood Chemistry, Aalto University, Wood Material Science

Surface modification of birch veneer by peroxide bleaching

Publishing year: 2017 Wood Science and Technology
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Professor

Ashraful Alam

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Chiara Piccardo

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher
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