Wood is a traditional raw material with a future. Wood products have outstanding technical properties and exemplary life cycle assessments. In six scientific specialist departments, the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI in Braunschweig addresses current and future-oriented tasks concerning the use of wood and other renewable resources.
The Institute, founded in 1946 by Dr. Wilhelm Klauditz, is located in Braunschweig, Germany. In 1972 the Institute, which counts among the most significant research institutions for applied wood research in Europe, joined the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
The Fraunhofer WKI works as closely and as application-oriented with the companies of the wood and furniture industries and the supplier industry as it does with the construction industry, the chemical industry and the automotive industry. Virtually all procedures and materials which result from the research activities of the Institute are used industrially.
Outstanding developments and services of the Fraunhofer WKI were and are:
- The development of innovative materials from chips and fibers
- Natural-fiber composite plastics and further innovative hybrid materials
- Environmentally-friendly and durable painting systems for furniture construction and exterior wood application
- Building products, wood constructions and holistic concepts for the production of light and environmentally-compatible buildings
- Process solutions for the recycling of production and post-consumer waste with the aim of achieving the highest possible level of reutilization
- The testing and reduction of formaldehyde emissions from wood-based materials and furniture
- The analysis of emissions from building materials and the reduction of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and odorous substances
- The testing and improvement of the properties of wood products through non-destructive methods such as thermography, ultrasound or magnetic resonance
The research and development activities serve to achieve a better utilization of the raw material wood and other renewable raw materials as well as an increase in the quality of the products produced therefrom. The priority tasks for the Fraunhofer WKI continue to include cultural heritage research, the preservation of old buildings and the renovation of half-timbered houses.
As an accredited testing body, the Fraunhofer WKI undertakes tasks concerning material testing and quality monitoring. It assesses cases of damage and provides advice regarding damage restoration.