Material Emissions

Working with materials, building materials and furniture manufacturers, as well as construction companies, we develop practical solutions to ensure good indoor air quality.

We provide support with the development and optimisation of low-emission and odour-neutral construction materials as well as suitable forms of construction and building processes to ensure compliance with regulations on indoor air quality.

Service portfolio

We support the development and optimisation of low-emission and odour-neutral products and manufacturing processes. We provide the following services:

  • Research projects commissioned by companies and institutions
  • Technology developments tailored to the size of the company (from micro-enterprises to industrial companies)
  • Support with applying for research funding from national and international funding organisations (including Innosuisse, FOEN, Horizon 2020, M-ERA.NET)
  • Testing services for material emissions and indoor air quality
  • Testing services for pesticides in art and cultural goods

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

Our research activities are based on extensive knowledge in the fields of materials science and chemistry of bio-based and synthetic materials, and the products they are used to make.

Chemical characterisation of raw materials and evaluation of formulations

We carry out the comprehensive chemical characterisation of raw materials, additives and other components of construction material products formulations. Our experts also analyse emissions-relevant components and process parameters.

Emissions from construction materials determination

By carrying out tests in emissions testing chambers, we determine the emissions of high, medium and low volatility organic compounds (VVOC, VOC and SVOC), formaldehyde, other carbonyl compounds and isocyanates from construction materials. In addition to all common standardised testing procedures, we also specialise in conducting emissions testing under specific, application-oriented conditions.

Assessment of the emissions behaviour of multi-layered structures

We enable the testing of the emissions behaviour of individual construction materials, but also of multi-layered structures based on them under application-oriented conditions. We use adapted emissions testing chambers or a 55m3 testing room.

Safety of construction processes

Together with our customers, we analyse and optimise construction processes to ensure compliance with contractually relevant reference and target values in new build or renovation processes.

Measurement of indoor air quality

We can determine pollution levels in indoor air in line with standards and the quality criteria of an accredited laboratory under ISO 17025. We can also carry out measurements of individual targeted compounds.
 

 

Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH

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

Other key focus areas include:

Infrastructure

We have the following equipment available for emissions testing of materials and furniture at the material emissions laboratory:

  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer with thermal desorption (TDS-GC-MS)
  • High-pressure liquid chromatograph with UV detection (HPLC-UV)
  • UV/VIS spectrometer
  • Gas analysis cabinet
  • Emissions testing chambers 23 l (glass) and 25 l (stainless steel)
  • Emissions testing chambers 1m3
  • Climate controlled test laboratories
  • Odour characterisation devices