Experimental and Computational Micro-Characterization Techniques in Wood Mechanics

Research Institute


The Timber Structures and Wood Technology research group focus on the use of wood as a renewable material for the building industry. Research is performed from the stage where trees are being cut, the sawmill process until applications in buildings and structures.

Main education and research areas:

  • The first subject deals with drying and strength grading of timber. For the strength grading non-destructive test methods are used.
  • The second subject deals with jointing and fastening techniques. This has been a traditional area for Delft University of Technology, but the focus was mainly on experimental testing. This has been expanded and now theoretical, numerical and experimental work is being performed.
  • The third research area deals with service life modeling of timber structures. Special models are under development combining several degradation mechanisms, taking into account mechanical, physical and biological loads, The models are being used for the assessment of monuments, buildings and structures in road- and waterworks as well as pile foundations.
  • Sustainable timber buildings and structural applications in buildings, bridges and hydraulic works.

In all four subjects micro-structure and micro-properties of wood play an essential role. Therefore research on this micro level of the material have been extended.


Some relevant equipment:

  • Micro CT-Scanner (3D)
  • CT-Scanner for full-size beams
  • Loading devices from 1 kN to 10 000 kN (Mechanical Testing)
  • Wedge Splitting Tester (Mechanical Testing)
  • Tension / compression stage - mini TSTM
  • (Surface Technology, Mechanical Testing)
  • Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter - MIP
  • HP Chromatograph
  • NIR & MIR spectroscope
  • Long Distance Microscope
  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy - ESEM
  • Polarisation and Fluorescence Microscope
  • Thin section machine
  • Drying Kiln for super heated steam conditions (stack volume 2.5 m3)
  • Standard equipment such as climate cabinets and drying ovens