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  • The photo shows Dr. Steven Eschig (portrait photo).
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    As of 1st March 2024, Dr. Steven Eschig has taken over the management of the “Binders and Coatings” department at the Fraunhofer WKI. The chemist, who had already worked as a research associate at the Fraunhofer WKI, aims to further develop bio-based adhesives, coatings, flame retardants and other chemical products through interdisciplinary collaboration with industry and research partners. Dr. Steven Eschig succeeds Dr. Frauke Bunzel, who had been in charge of the department since December 2018.

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  • The photo shows a coniferous forest with 40-year-old trees standing relatively far apart.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Tobias Krenn

    Within an interdisciplinary project in collaboration with partners, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI have investigated the quality of softwood from differing silvicultural systems. The aim of the project was to improve the supply situation for the construction industry in view of climate change. From the results, recommendations for new plantations can be derived in order to specifically optimize wood quality and wood yield. Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI addressed the visual sorting of softwood and determined that application-oriented sorting based on product requirements – and, consequently, more efficient use of wood resources – is possible in dependence on silvicultural parameters. A re-evaluation of various visual criteria can be advantageous.

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  • The photo shows a cube-shaped block of gray, grainy material with a large cavity. Inside is a block of brownish, loose material.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    When it comes to sustainable development, the construction industry faces great challenges. In the ReMatBuilt project, experts from the Fraunhofer WKI and their partners are proving that the tasks associated with this can be solved with high-performance construction materials made of recycled and waste materials. They will be presenting their solutions to specialist audiences at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 21, 2024.

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  • The photo shows many people in an event room with large video screens.
    © LignoSilva Center of Excellence

    On 8 February 2024, the kick-off event for the new mentoring programme of the Fraunhofer WKI took place in Bratislava at the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information. The aim of the "Upgrade of the Centre of Excellence LignoSilva" project, which is funded by the European Union, is to strengthen scientific excellence and international research contacts. The Fraunhofer WKI will act as a mentor in the coming years.

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  • The photo shows a foamed half-shell with a cavity for the insulation of fittings
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with the company IGP Chemie GmbH, have further developed a non-combustible filling and installation foam in such a way that it complies with construction-material class A1 and possesses low thermal conductivity. As a result, the installation of fire-resistant doors and windows and the sealing of openings in fire-resistant walls is simplified. In addition, the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with project partner GWK Kuhlmann GmbH, has utilized the new foam in the production of prototypes for prefabricated insulation shells for fittings and valves - an innovation for fire protection in construction that will be further developed for industrial applications in a follow-up project.

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  • The photo shows numerous house-high bamboo culms in the wild, towering over a person standing in the foreground.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    In a joint research and development project between Germany and Brazil, the cooperation partners want to improve the carbon footprint of construction products. To achieve this, they will use, for example, natural bamboo fibers for cement-based composite materials. The overarching aim of the international project is the promotion of market-oriented research and experimental development projects in Brazil. The first interim results have now been exchanged during a workshop in Brazil.

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  • © Fraunhofer WKI | Dr. Juan Li

    Dr. Juan Li, scientist at the Fraunhofer WKI, has been awarded the Ph.D. Prize of the International Academy of Wood Science in 2023. The internationally prestigious award is presented once a year for outstanding research achievements in the field of wood and fiber science and technology.

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  • The photo shows a group of people.
    © Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL)

    On the 27th of October 2023, the Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, presented the participating project partners with the funding notification from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) for the research project “Nachhaltige Erzeugung und Verwertung von Rohrkolben auf Niedermoorstandorten in Niedersachsen“ (Sustainable production and utilization of cattails on fenland sites in Lower Saxony, “RoNNi”).

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  • The image shows a measuring cup into which a brown-colored liquid is being poured.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    In collaboration with Schwan Cosmetics International and Worlée-Chemie, the Fraunhofer WKI has developed high-quality bio-based film-formers on the basis of lignin for use in cosmetic products. The foundation has therefore been laid for high-quality and sustainable makeup products whose quality is in no way inferior to that of conventional products.

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  • The picture shows two pieces of wood-foam panel stacked on top of each other.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    The wood foam developed and patented by the Fraunhofer WKI will, in future, be produced and distributed by Butterweck Holzstoffe GmbH & Co. KG. The marketing of the wood foams is planned under the brand name LIGNEW. Construction work for a production plant in Northern Germany will commence shortly. Delivery of the first wood-foam panels is expected to take place in 2026. The researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI will continue to provide Butterweck Holzstoffe GmbH & Co. KG with support in an advisory capacity.

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