Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

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

Investigating the tactile warmth of untreated and modified wood surfaces by measuring cold sensitivity in paired-comparison experiments

Shiv Raj Bhatta, Katja Vahtikari, Mark Hughes, Marketta Kyttä 2020 International Wood Products Journal

Improvement of interfacial interaction in impregnated wood via grafting methyl methacrylate onto wood cell walls

Youming Dong, Michael Altgen, Mikko Mäkelä, Lauri Rautkari, Mark Hughes, Jianzhang Li, Shifeng Zhang 2020 Holzforschung

Effects of water soaking-drying cycles on thermally modified spruce wood-plastic composites

Susanna Kallbom, Kristiina Lillqvist, Steven Spoljaric, Jukka Seppälä, Kristoffer Segerholm, Lauri Rautkari, Mark Hughes, Magnus Walinder 2020 Wood and Fiber Science

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

Tainise V. Lourençon, Sami Alakurtti, Tommi Virtanen, Anna Stiina Jääskeläinen, Tiina Liitiä, Mark Hughes, Washington L.E. Magalhães, Graciela I.B. Muniz, Tarja Tamminen 2020 Holzforschung

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

S. R. Bhatta, K. Tiippana, K. Vahtikari, P. Kiviluoma, M. Hughes, M. Kyttä 2019 Energy and Buildings

Thermal properties enhancement of poplar wood by substituting poly(furfuryl alcohol) for the matrix

Youming Dong, Erni Ma, Jianzhang Li, Shifeng Zhang, Mark Hughes 2019 Polymer Composites

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

Youming Dong, Wei Zhang, Mar K. Hughes, Miao Wu, Shifeng Zhang, Jianzhang Li 2019 Composites Part B: Engineering

Rethinking Wood: Future Dimensions of Timber Assembly

Markus Hudert, Sven Pfeiffer, Stefan Böhm, Michael Budig, Frauke Bunzel, Simon Deeg, Hans Drexler, Philipp Eversmann, Gerhard Fink, Pekka Heikkinen, Mark Hughes, Robert Jockwer, Heike Klussmann, Ferdinand Ludwig, Wilfrid Middleton, Kiel Moe, Toni Österlund, Hannes Orelma, Andreas Picker, Olga Popovic Larsen, Martin Self, Steffi Silbermann, Léon Spikker, Philip Tidwell, Heidi Turunen, Ute Vees, Markus Wikar, Marcin Wójcik, Klaus Zwerger 2019

Lignin phenol-formaldehyde resins with suitable bonding strength synthesized from “less reactive” hardwood lignin fractions

Tainise Vergara Lourencon, Washington Luiz Esteves Magalhães, Graciela I. B. de Muniz, Tommi Virtanen, Anna-Stiina Jääskeläinen, Tiina Liitiä, Sami Alakurtti, Mark Hughes, Tarja Tamminen 2019 ACS Spring 2019

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

Anna Dupleix, Tien van Nguyen, Katja Vahtikari, Mark Hughes 2018 Wood Science and Technology
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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