Large variability - both a strength and weakness of wood
Wood is a natural material with large differences in properties within and between tree species, forest stands and trees. It is possible, but not always exonomically feasible, to find wood matching property specifications for a broad spectrum of products and processes.
But the large variability is also a weakness of wood. Unwanted and unknown variations lead to reduced yield, increased costs and problems with product quality in the industry.
Optimal use of wood and fibres
It is estimated that 30 - 40 % of the variations in product quality may originate from variations in the wood and fibre raw material, directly or indirectly by causing process disturbances. Knowledge and tools are needed to achieve more uniform and suitable wood and fibres for the specific mill and products.
Innventia initiated research and development in this field, starting more than 15 years ago. Research projects and contract work for mills and companies have now been performed on four continents. Examples of activities and results are:
- Prediction of wood and fibre properties of stands, trees, logs and chips.
- Relationships between wood, fibre, pulp and paper properties.
- Allocation of wood to mills and products, considering fibre properties and costs.
- Information about properties of the available and delivered wood.
- Wood yard and wood room operations.
- Adaptation of the pulp and paper processes to the material being processed, for efficient operation and the right product quality.
Traditionally, the research on wood and fibres at Innventia used to emphasise a pulp and paper perspective. However, the methods, competences and data developed have proven to be very useful also in other fields of research and development. Innventia is now active in a broad spectrum of projects, including sawn products, forestry, genetics and tree breeding, effects of climate change, sustainability, morphology, growth processes, research related to different tree species in many countries, in natural forests, fast-growing plantations and experiments.
These project are generally joint projects, managed by researchers of a university, institute or company with high expertice in the specific field. It also happens that Innventia is asked to join a project to strengthen it with expertice on our specialties