Composite Materials

Focusing on bio-based composites, we develop technologies for the use of wood and other raw materials as primary elements of materials and products.

Our activities focus on the development of bio-based materials and the corresponding production processes. In addition to the traditional wood ranges, we use recycled agricultural materials, paper fibres, palm by-products and other raw materials for the development of new board materials and molded components. The environmental sustainability, economic viability and industrial feasibility of our processes and products take top priority.

Service portfolio

We provide tailored solutions for manufacturers of bio-based composite materials:

We are heavily involved in teaching and continuing education. We supervise students’ projects and theses. We also frequently engage master’s students as assistants in research projects. In this way, we contribute to training the experts of the future.

We have connections with the following academic programmes and courses of continuing education:

We aim to transfer all non-confidential research into practice. To this end, we hold events and lectures, write specialist articles, conduct tours, organise workshops, and present our results at trade fairs.

Areas of expertise

Many years of experience, close cooperation with other BFH institutes and strong links with national and international research institutions form the basis of our comprehensive expertise in the following areas:

  • Wood-based panels (including medium density fibreboard MDF, particle board, oriented strand board OSB, plywood)
  • Insulation materials
  • Solid wood components
  • New applications for wood-based materials
  • Lightweight panels
  • Use of bio-based adhesives
  • Alternative raw materials (including agricultural residues, paper fibres, palm fibres)
  • Use of bio-based plastics
  • Ecological evaluation of products and processes
  • Industrial production processes
  • Modelling of materials and component properties
  • Computer-based process simulation
  • Automation in the wood-based materials industry

Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH

Composite materials is one of the key focus areas of the Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH. At IWH, we develop and optimise multifunctional wood and composite materials as well as innovative products for the timber and construction industries, with the focus on the sustainable use of resources.

Other key focus areas include:

Infrastructure

We have well-equipped laboratories for the professional performance of services and development mandates:

  • Hydraulic laboratory presses (80 x 60cm2, to 250°C)
  • Drum blender (50 l, 80 l, 300 l)
  • Sieving equipment
  • Micro-compounder
  • UV/VIS and FT-IR spectrometers
  • Microscope for digital image capture
  • Universal testing machines for compression, tensile, shear and bending tests (force range 0 to 250kN)
  • Climatic chamber for the universal testing machine -80°C to +250°C
  • Air-conditioned testing lab
  • Various climatic chambers and rooms
  • Special software for the recording and evaluation of measurements
  • Virtual Hot Press simulation software
  • Sylvatest to determine properties using ultrasound
  • Ignitability Apparatus for single-flame source test (EN 11925-2)
  • X-ray density profile measuring system