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The new tomographer has improved resolution, takes better pictures and enables studies of processes in the wood that were previously impossible. Photo: Pixabay View original picture , opens in new tab/window

60 million for research in Wood Science and Engineering

Published: 28 February 2020

A unique computer tomograph, specialized in in-depth x-ray, will shortly be delivered to the laboratory in Wood Science and Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. The equipment is an important component of CT Wood, a newly started strategic research program, which is focused on applied research in close collaboration with the wood industry.

Behind the CT Wood initiative, which will last for ten years, stands Svenskt  Trä, as well as a number of independent wood industries, the Kempe Foundations, Skellefteå Municipality and Luleå University of Technology.

Expertise center in wood technology

– The forest and timber industries are crucial to achieving the global sustainability goals, which is why the CT Wood research program is a strong contribution to Sweden's green transition. The fact that the Kempe Foundations and Skellefteå municipality are also included in the investment is very important for the development of the area. This ensures that Luleå University of Technology will continue to be Sweden's and Europe's main center of expertise in wood technology, Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, says, Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.

The cooperation agreement signed by Luleå University of Technology, Skogsindustrierna / Svenskt Trä six months ago,  has now led to CT Wood. The purpose of the research program is to build on the university's world-leading research in wood tomography and create the conditions for excellence, next-generation research, in the digitalisation of the wood industry. It provides new opportunities for industry-adapted studies and strengthens the academic research data collection on a large scale.

Sustainable forest and wood industry

With the help of advanced measurement technology and digitization tools, the laboratory at CT Wood aims to streamline raw material utilization from forest to finished, optimal and high-quality wood products. Wood is a natural, complex material and wood construction has increased greatly. This strategic cooperation will lead to continued supply of competence, competitiveness and sustainable growth for the forest and wood industry.

– This type of focused investment in wood research is the first in the world and that local stakeholders and the industry finance the investment is unique, Björn Källander, says, head of standardization and research at the industry organization Svenskt Trä.

The research is important for Skellefteå

– The research is important for Skellefteå and the business community here. Skellefteå's business community is already at the forefront of the transition to a sustainable future and we are in the middle of a region that drives innovation forward. The innovative companies are found in many different industries, where the timber industry is one of the most important, and this investment will be extra significant, Kristina Sundin Jonsson, says, municipal director in Skellefteå municipality.

World unique tomographer to the university

Previously, medical computed tomographs have been used for wood research, which among other things limited the radiation intensity. The plan is now that the exicting tomographer, at Luleå University of Technology, who scans both logs and sawn timber, will be supplemented with the new world-unique tomograph. It has improved resolution, takes better pictures and enables studies of processes in the wood that were previously impossible. The large tomographs can be connected to climate chambers / dryers so that processes such as wood drying and heat treatment can be studied during the processes. Building components can also be studied down to -60 ° C. The laboratory equipment at the university is complemented by the two industrial tomographers at the Northern Forest Owners' Saw in Sävar and the Fiskarhedens saw.