Experimental and Computational Micro-Characterization Techniques in Wood Mechanics

Research Institute


Glasgow University (founded 1451) is a medium-sized University with a distinguished history in physics, chemistry and medicine. It has no department of forestry, wood science or materials science but a considerable amount of research on materials has recently been drawn together under the Glasgow Materials Research Initiative. The chemistry department’s contribution to this initiative is in the structural study of plant cell walls and of the way in which their molecular structure responds to mechanical stress.


Glasgow University’s chemistry department, part of the WestChem grouping with the University of Strathclyde has the analytical facilities expected of a large modern chemistry institute with strengths in solid-state NMR, crystallography and vibrational spectroscopy. The cell walls group has a number of purpose-built instruments including an FTIR microscope coupled to a tensile testing machine and a system for preparation and densitometric analysis of radial profiles from trees. It also has access to a Rigaku image-plate single-crystal diffractometer on which procedures for diffuse fibre diffraction have been developed.