Surface Treatment

In the area of the surface finishing of wood and wood-based materials, we develop coating systems as well as application and drying processes.

Our current research focus is transparent surface protection of wood components used in interiors and externally. We develop non-film-forming variants of coating. In the field of furniture and interior design, we are working on enhancing the functionality of surfaces using specific sensors to better integrate them into a digitally connected environment.

Service portfolio

We provide tailored solutions for the surface finishing of wood and wood-based materials. This includes 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)
  • Surface finishing testing services
  • Microscopy testing services
  • Consultation
  • Expert opinions

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

In addition to our specialist expertise, we also stand out thanks to our strong links with industry, institutions, associations and international research networks.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Environmentally friendly coating of wood and wood-based materials
  • Powder technology
  • Hardening of paint systems through the use of LED diodes
  • Use of bio-components
  • UV and damp protection of wood surfaces
  • Ecological wood protection
  • Modern microscopy technology
  • Plasma technology
  • Durable wood coatings

Institute for Materials and Wood Technology IWH

Wood modification 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:


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

  • Extensive facilities for the application of fluid coating systems (curtain, rolling, spraying, powder-coating)
  • Recirculating air, IR and UV drying units
  • Outdoor exposure rig and accelerated weathering equipment
  • Various climatic chambers
  • A range of autoclaves from 25–250 l
  • Sterile workplaces for biological analyses
  • A range of light microscopes, an electron microscope (incl. EDX unit) and an atomic force microscope
  • Microtomes and grinders
  • Materials testing laboratory
  • Surfaces testing laboratory
  • Microscopy laboratory


We offer many different collaboration options. I will be happy to answer your questions and look forward to hearing from you: