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  • © Fraunhofer WKI

    From the 9th to the 11th of October 2024, the Fraunhofer WKI and the European Panel Federation (EPF) in cooperation with the International Association for Technical Issues Related to Wood (iVTH) and the company Hywax GmbH will be hosting the 13th European Wood-based Panel Symposium at the Grand Elysée Hotel in Hamburg. The presentation program has now been finalized.

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  • The graphic shows a path that leads from trees to a pile of wood, then to a factory with mats that are used to insulate a house.
    © Fraunhofer WKI, Corel Corporation

    How can finite resources be conserved and dependency on fossil resources reduced? Renewable raw materials are one answer. Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are developing new materials and components made from such materials as wood, flax and hemp fibers and fungal mycelium. Together with the Verband Dämmstoffe aus nachwachsenden Rohstoffen e.V. (association for insulation materials made from renewable raw resources, vdnr), the Fraunhofer WKI has been selected to present its expertise in the field of insulation materials at the “Woche der Umwelt” (Week of the Environment) in Berlin on the 4th and 5th of June 2024. The expertise ranges from raw-material extraction, through insulation production and its application in the construction industry, and on to recycling and the utilization of recycled raw materials for second-use products. Scientists will be presenting insulation materials made from plant-based raw resources for applications in the construction sector.

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  • © iVTH

    On the occasion of his retirement from the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer WKI and from the International Association for Technical Issues Related to Wood (iVTH), Dipl.-Ing. Hubertus Flötotto was honored with the Wilhelm Klauditz Medal. The Wilhelm Klauditz Medal, donated by the iVTH, is awarded to outstanding personalities who have made a special contribution to wood research.

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  • The graphic shows a set of scales on which a house, furniture and a wind turbine are positioned. The display on the scales shows a low weight.
    © Fraunhofer WKI, Corel Corporation

    Lightweight construction is considered a key technology of the future. It provides an important contribution towards increasing competitiveness and achieving climate and sustainability goals. Lightweight materials, components and products require less transportation energy and often also smaller amounts of raw resources. Lightweight products made from renewable raw materials can be particularly sustainable. Even renewable raw materials will, however, become scarce if they are used to create an ever-increasing number of products and the world’s population continues to grow. Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are developing resource-efficient lightweight-construction solutions using renewable raw materials: from the development of alternative raw materials from climate-adapted ecosystems and plant residues, through material and process development, component design and quality control, and on to cascade utilization and recycling.

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  • The photo shows a flat, fairly rectangular molded part with cut-outs on the sides and in the middle as well as attachment points.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    In collaboration with industrial partners, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have developed a vehicle underbody made from natural fibers and recycled plastics for automotive construction. The component fulfills the stringent technical requirements in the underbody area and could replace conventional lightweight vehicle underbodies in the future. With this development, the climate and environmental balance is optimized throughout the entire product life cycle. The focus at the Fraunhofer WKI was directed at the development of the materials for injection molding as well as the hydrophobization of flax and hemp fibers for natural-fiber-reinforced mixed-fiber non-wovens.

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  • The photo shows a standard, upright masonry brick with 12 evenly arranged cavities. The cavities are filled with various types of fiber mats. In front of the brick is a large pile of brown beech-wood fibers and a small pile of white bico fibers.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    Two research highlights from the Fraunhofer WKI will be on display at the Hannover Messe from the 22nd to the 26th of April 2024 in the “Schaufenster Bioökonomie” (Bioeconomy Showcase): thermal-insulation bricks filled with beech-wood fibers and a formaldehyde-free bio-adhesive for the production of wood-based materials. The “Bioeconomy Showcase” is a joint stand operated by Project Management Jülich (PtJ) and the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FNR). Research results from current bio-economy projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be presented here.

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  • The photo shows the top of a lightweight moulded part with a square base (400 mm x 400 mm) and a total thickness of 40 mm. There are several differently shaped protrusions and indentations on the upper side. The material and surface structure is similar to a coarse fibreboard.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    The Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting solutions for lightweight construction using renewable raw materials at the Hannover Messe from the 22nd to the 26th of April 2024. A wood-fiber-based molded part demonstrates the potential of lightweight hybrid materials and was produced using an automated molding machine. The process offers possibilities for the precision-fit production of complexly shaped components, furniture or insulation materials. Furthermore, the performance capabilities of renewable raw materials will be demonstrated with a ceiling system module on the basis of wood foam. The module can be utilized for the renovation of suspended ceilings in old buildings. The mosaic-like coffered ceilings exhibit a load-bearing capacity comparable to reinforced concrete, but are significantly lighter. The innovations can be seen on the Fraunhofer stand (Hall 2, Stand B24).

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  • The photo shows a horizontal wooden plank attached to a metal post.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    From raw materials to recycling - at the Hannover Messe from the 22nd to the 26th of April 2024, the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting new application possibilities for renewable raw materials at the Fraunhofer joint stand (Hall 2, Stand B24). The examples range from a wooden crash barrier for road traffic through to sustainable concrete construction materials made from residual materials. They demonstrate the potential of renewable raw materials for the circular economy.

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  • The graphic shows icons connected by arrows to form a cycle: forest, piles of wood, sawmill, panel factory, furniture factory, recycling company, construction site and garbage containers cans.
    © Fraunhofer WKI, Corel Corporation

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are pursuing the goal of creating alternatives to the use of fossil raw materials. Through their work, they are laying important foundations for a circular bioeconomy – from raw resources, through the development of innovative materials and their utilization, and on to recycling. Within the framework of the federal ministry of agriculture’s call for funding applications “Recyclinggerechte Verwendung von Holz” (Recycling-friendly utilization of wood), the Fraunhofer WKI is involved in five of the six research projects. The focus of the projects is aimed at the development of cross-sector solutions for the resource-efficient use of wood, the circular economy and climate protection.

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  • The photo shows a construction site, with a construction worker in the centre and a quarter shell being moved by a crane.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Malte Mérono

    For the company Modvion AB in Gothenburg, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI accompanied the bonding of the first wooden tower for commercial wind turbines on the construction site and advised the company on complex bonding processes. The so-called "Wind of Change Tower" of the energy provider Varberg Energi AB was inaugurated on 4 March 2024.

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