Experimental and Computational Micro-Characterization Techniques in Wood Mechanics

Chair of Action

Karin DE BORST | Curriculum Vitae

Profile | Curriculum Vitae | Research Institute

Education/Professional Career


Diploma studies of Civil Engineering at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna)


Dipl.-Ing; Vienna University of Technology


Ph.D.; Vienna University of Technology


University Assistant; Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna University of Technology


Leader of Research Group on Wood Mechanics; Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna University of Technology



Appreciation award ("Würdigungspreis") granted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Research, and Culture


Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina

Research Projects (relevant to Action)


Mechanical Characterization of Wood Strand Products by Multiscale Models; cooperation with holz.bau forschungs gmbh, Graz, Austria
In this project the development and optimization of an improved wood strand board using large-area, slender strands with uniform size and shape were accompanied by numerical simulations. The latter enabled to relate microstructural characteristics, such as strand shape and strand orientation distribution, as well as board characteristics, such as vertical lay-up and density profile, to the effective stiffness properties of the board.

since 2006:

Roadmap 2010 – Building with wood; cooperation with the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), Brussels, Belgium
In the framework of its strategic process “Roadmap 2010”, CEI-Bois has launched a couple of research projects related to wood processing and timber engineering. TU Vienna has assumed the scientific coordination of these projects.

since 2007:

Numerical simulation of wood boards with branch inclusions; cooperation with Doka Industrie GmbH, Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
A numerical FE-based simulation tool for the investigation of the effects of knots on the mechanical behavior of wooden boards is developed in this project.

since 2007:

MechWood – Mechanical characterization of wood for knowledge-based wood industry, cooperation with Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Austrian Association of Wood Industries (FVHÖ)
This large-scale project is concerned with the development of material models for the mechanical behavior of solid wood suitable for engineering applications and the implementation of these models in commercially available software.

since 2008:

COMET: Engineering of Wood Products; cooperation with Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH, Linz, Austria; project leader on behalf of IMWS
In the framework of the competence center, various product and process development tasks are assisted by numerical simulations, such as the design of an innovative lightweight panel with hollow spaces in the mid-layer.

Selected Publications (relevant to Action)

Stürzenbecher, R.; Hofstetter, K.; Schickhofer, G; Eberhardsteiner, J. (2008). Development of High-performance Strand Boards. Multiscale Modeling of Anisotropic Elasticity. Wood Science & Technology, in print.

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, Ch., Eberhardsteiner, J., Mang, H.A. (2008). Micromechanical Estimates for Elastic Limit States in Wood Materials, Revealing Nanostructural Failure Mechanisms. Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures 15 (6-7) 474-484.

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, C., Eberhardsteiner, J. (2007).  Solid-type and plate-type deformation patterns within wood – A ‚universal’ combined random / periodic micromechanics model for prediction of multiscale elasticity from chemical composition and morphology. Holzforschung 61 (4) 343-351.

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, Ch., Eberhardsteiner, J. (2006). The Influence of the Microfibril Angle on Wood Stiffness: a Continuum Micromechanics Approach. Computer Assisted Mechanics and Engineering Sciences 13(4) 523–536.

Hofstetter, K., Hinterstoisser, B., Salmén, L. (2006). Moisture Uptake in Native Cellulose - the Roles of Different Hydrogen Bonds: A Dynamic FT-IR Study Using Deuterium Exchange. Cellulose 13(2) 131–145.

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, Ch., Mang, H.A. (2006). Anisotropic Failure of the Biological Multi-Composite Wood: A Micromechanical Approach. In: Proceedings of the IUTAM Symposium on Multiscale Modeling of Damage and Fracture Processes in Composite Materials, Springer, ISBN: 1-4020-4565-4, pp. 159–166.

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, Ch., Eberhardsteiner, J. (2005). Development and Experimental Validation of a Continuum Micromechanics Model for the Elasticity of Wood. European Journal of Mechanics - A/Solids 24(6) 1030 - 1053.