The research project will be aimed at three major objectives, all addressing ongoing global changes as well as the future way of industrial processing. First objective is on new methods for the wood defect determination, optimization of laser-wood cutting, as well as automation of wood processing procedures. Scanning will be based on the combination of several systems, combined in a single scanning unit, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, X-ray and infrared light. The wood scanning and defects determination processes will be interconnected with the yield optimization methods and subsequently implement these processes into production of dimensional timber and sawn timber.
Important goals are to determine the relationship between basic wood properties (moisture content, density, angle of annual rings) and laser cutting parameters (focal distance, cutting speed, cutting quality, energy consumption etc.) to maximize laser performance while minimizing the time and energy consumption of cutting. Then, based on the achieved results, detection/cutting parameters will be optimized so that the entire process will be fully automated, under full monitoring of controlling software. The entire scanning process and subsequent cutting will be designed primarily for deciduous hard wood species (8 wood species), because information about them is incomplete at present. Coniferous and exotic wood species will be examined to a lesser extent. The second objective is on basic understanding of mechano-sorptive properties, which is essential when wood is modified. Modification is seen as a path to adapt properties of wood to a wider range of uses. A multiscale approach using dynamic sorption analysis, in combination with dynamic mechanical analysis is suggested. Finally, the essential wood properties important to additive manufacturing, i.e. 3D printing, are investigated, all in close collaboration with international partnerships.