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Luis Cristovao, PhD in Wood Technology.
Luis Cristovao, PhD in Wood Technology.

Rock hard wood did not stop Luis

Published: 17 December 2013

Improved methods for cutting hard tropical woods or frozen wood, that is the theme in a new doctoral thesis by Luis Cristovao at LTU in Skellefteå. With his newly acquired knowledge, Luis wants to contribute to the start-up of many new sawmills in his homeland Mozambique.

– My results for how to process the hard species found in Mozambique can change the entire sawmill industry there. The wood can be cut and processed in the country, which will lead to many new jobs, says Luis Cristovao, PhD in Wood Technology.

Luis Cristovao at a circular saw. The piece of wood in the picture is called ironwood.
Luis Cristovao at a circular saw. The piece of wood in the picture is called ironwood, one of five tropical wood species that were investigated together with pine and spruce.

Dense tropical hardwood, as well as frozen timber, is more difficult to process and will cause more wear and may break the saw blade. Two types of saw blades made ​​of carbide were found to best withstand the hard wood. Luis has also investigated what type of sawing techniques, in terms of cutting forces and tensioning of circular saw blades, which are the most effective and also have the least power consumption.

With financial support from SIDA, Luis Cristovao got the chance to become part of the strong research environment in the wood area that exists at LTU in Skellefteå. In addition to the knowledge of woodworking he learned, the open teaching and research culture made ​​a huge impact on Luis.

– Whenever I have a problem I can just ask a colleague next door. If someone knows, they will tell you. In Mozambique, you need an appointment to meet with a professor. I will show my colleagues in Mozambique this new way to teach. We need to care more for our students. Everyone can shine if they have a good mentor. It’s amazing.

Surely, Luis with his open and cheerful personality will be missed, but the cooperation with his Swedish colleagues that are now his friends will continue.

– Researchers from LTU will come and visit my university in Maputo to give a course and they will also visit companies in Mozambique, says Luis Cristovao.