– My research started when I was involved in the Stoorn project. The aim was to develop materials that could be a good "coat" for the large moose. Then we thought that heat-treated and oil impregnated wood paneling could act as a durable protection and something that looks like fur. Unfortunately, the project was halted and we did not continue the research on that particular application. Stoorn have nevertheless inspired my interest in outdoor panels in a cold climate, says Ekaterina Sidorova, licentiate in Wood Science and Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.
In her research, Ekaterina Sidorova examined how modified wood can be used as a cladding material where weather resistance, appearance and durability are important factors. The wood she looked at were sideboards sawn from pine sapwood. That material was chosen because the Swedish forests are rich in pines, but unfortunately the material is subject to rapid degradation. By modifying the properties of sapwood, you can have a durable and reliable material for outdoor use.
– By modifying the wood, the value of these sideboards can be increased. New modification methods that are simple and effective can also lower manufacturing cost. The environmental benefits of the new methods are that they use less chemicals and energy. However, before the results can be implemented you need to choose a method that suits the intended application, and then make an economic analysis.
The research was funded by Vinnova, TCN and the Frans and Carl Kempe foundation. Ekaterina Sidorova also wants to thank for the support she received from her colleagues in Skellefteå, not least the supervisors Diego Elustondo, Olov Karlsson and Tom Morén, and her mentor Ola Dagbro.