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Do you need a compact overview of the activities and current research topics of the Fraunhofer WKI? Our annual reports are a good place to start.


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Press releases

  • The computer graphic shows a product cycle with the pictorially represented stations raw materials, production, trade, recycling.
    © Thomas Kuhlenbeck

    Fraunhofer researchers are highlighting the scientific and technological potential of the bioeconomy in their roadmap “Circular bioeconomy for Germany”. Included are recommended actions to be taken at a political level. The roadmap was presented in Brussels on September 20, 2023. The Fraunhofer WKI contributed to the roadmap.

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  • The photo shows an exhibition room with various exhibits. In the center of the room is a floor-to-ceiling, funnel-shaped column that widens from the base to the top.
    © ReportArch I Andrea Ferro Photography

    The Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart, the Laser Zentrum Hannover and industrial partners, has produced a column made from natural-fiber-reinforced bioplastic by means of 3D printing. The column is currently on display at the Biennale in Venice. With the column, the researchers are demonstrating that 3D-printed materials are also suitable for large components in architecture.

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  • The 3D computer graphic shows a multicopter with four arms, each of which has two rotor blades mounted on it.
    © Leichtwerk AG

    In collaboration with the companies Leichtwerk AG and Jowat SE, the Fraunhofer WKI has developed a sustainable multicopter. Thanks to an efficient, bio-based structural design and modular construction, the new aerial vehicle is significantly more sustainable than comparable conventional systems. In order to achieve this, the Fraunhofer WKI has developed functional materials, manufacturing processes for molded parts, and suitable coatings.

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  • The computer graphic shows the functional principle of switchable adhesives.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    Switchable adhesives are suitable for the adhesion of cement-bonded wood-based panels. This has been verified by researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI in collaboration with industrial partners. With the aid of – amongst other things – block shear tests, the project team showed that the minimum requirements are fulfilled through the use of the newly developed adhesives.

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  • The photo shows a three-story modern office building with a facade of clinker and wood.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    On 1st July 2023, the researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI Application Center HOFZET® will be able to look back upon 10 years of research activities in the fields of sustainability, materials development and component development as well as circular economy and recycling.

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  • The photo shows the mountain landscape made of mycelium plates. On the side there is a stepladder.
    © Eva Lochner

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with their partner Protohaus gGmbH, have constructed a stage set for the Braunschweig State Theater using an innovative forward-looking material. The surface of the mountain landscape in the play “Funken” was created with the help of fungal mycelium. The ecological and recyclable building material consists of elephant-grass fibers, which are grown through with mycelium. The stage set creatively illustrates the potential of building with fungal mycelium for the general public. The lampshades that can be seen on stage have also been produced using mycelium that has been hot-pressed in an innovative process.

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  • The 3D computer graphic shows the cut-open hull of a stand-up paddleboard.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Christoph Pöhler

    During LIGNA 2023, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting possibilities for utilizing renewable raw materials – such as balsa wood, hardwood or natural fibers – in future-oriented applications. The application possibilities will be demonstrated by means of a laminated-material bridge and an eco stand-up paddleboard.

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  • The photo shows a wood-based panel.

    By means of a wood-based panel for interior construction, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be demonstrating the application possibilities for a newly developed, formaldehyde-free bio-adhesive at LIGNA 2023. Compared to the phenol-formaldehyde resins often used until now, the new lignin-HMF resin is harmless to health and free from petrochemical raw materials. The researchers are presenting a 100 percent bio-based condensation resin for the wood-based materials industry that can be manufactured and processed using conventional process and equipment technology.

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  • The photo shows a beam made from pine laminated veneer lumber.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    By means of a wall made from a multi-layer composite material as well as a ceiling beam, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be demonstrating utilization possibilities for pine wood at LIGNA 2023. The demonstrators are the result of two current research projects at the Fraunhofer WKI. The “wood of the future” pine is one of the most important tree species in Northern Germany in terms of area covered and copes relatively well with climate change. As pine wood will be available in greater quantities in the future, the researchers are working on the development of application fields with high revenue potential for the construction and automotive industries.

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  • The photo shows a commercially available, vertically positioned masonry brick with 12 evenly spaced cavities. The cavities are filled with a variety of fiber-mat types. In front of the brick is a large pile of brown beech-wood fibers and a small pile of white bico fibers.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    In a current research project, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are determining how beech wood, which will be increasingly available in the future, can be used as wood-fiber insulation material in the form of mats or foams. At LIGNA 2023, the researchers will present one possibility: a thermal-insulation wall made from hollow bricks filled with insulation mats composed of beech-wood fibers. The brick wall is part of the “Multi-material model Wall I Ceiling I Roof”. Industrial partners will test the insulating materials developed at the Fraunhofer WKI to ensure their practical suitability. The project team is working on an economically attractive solution for the production of wood-fiber insulation materials from beech wood for the construction industry.

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