Chemistry and material laboratories

Published: 20 March 2011

These labs serve as a practical and scientific platform for knowledge development of wood materials. Here we create new wood-based materials and enhance the properties of already existing wood-based materials.

These labs are equipped with means for exploration of wood anatomy and chemical components and their effect on behaviour of wood products. There are facilities for wood modification, drying and studies of mechanical properties of wood at the labs.

Here are the materials currently investigated at the labs: modified and non-modified solid wood, veneers, plywood and biobased insulation materials. Besides that we are developing further the following technologies: autoadhesion of solid wood and biomaterials without addition of glue, enhanced control of wood drying and effective environmentally friendly and cost efficient wood modification processes.

Gas chromatography (GC)
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), GC-17A, GCMS-QP5050, Shimadzu

Gas chromatography (GC), Shimadzu GC-17A, GCMS-QP5050

Using gas chromatography (GC) low molecular weight compounds can be separated and quantified. We have used the apparatus for analysis of extractives and carbohydrate in wood.

UV-spectrophotometry
UV-spectrophotometry, Hitachi U-1500 Spectrophotometer

UV-spectrophotometry, Hitachi U-1500 Spectrophotometer

Analysis of absorption of compounds in UV-VIS (200-700 nm). We have used it for analysis of soluble phenolic substances.

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), TGA 4000, PerkinElmer

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), TGA 4000, PerkinElmer

With thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), thermal degradation of materials could be studied. Changes in mass of a sample are measured over time while applying a heating gradient. Combined with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermal degradation products can be analysed.

FTIR.jpg
Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), PerkinElmer Frontier FTIR, combined with Attenuated total reflection (ATR), PE Universell ATR, PerkinElmer

Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) combined with Attenuated total reflection (ATR)

With ATR, samples can be analysed in solid or liquid state without further preparation. FT-IR enables infrared spectrum of emission or absorption of solid, liquid, or gas to be obtained. The FT-IR can be combined with thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to analyse degradation product generated as the sample is exposed to change of temperature. Microplates are also available for series of samples.

Accelerated weathering tester
Accelerated weathering, QUV, Q-LAB

Accelerated weathering machine simulates weather, such as rain and sunlight (UV), intensively. In this way behaviour of sample to weathering conditions can be obtained in short period under controlled conditions and by using established standard methods.

Brinell hardness tester
Brinell hardness tester, 2.5kN zwicki, Zwick Roell

With the machine, hardness of sample surface can be measured.

Hounsfield universal testing machine
Hounsfield universal testing machine, Hounsfield H25K-S

With the machine, mechanical properties of samples, such as tensile strength, module of elasticity, internal bonding strength, and wet strength on small samples, can be tested.

Oxygen Index, Fire Testing Technology
Oxygen Index, Fire Testing Technology

This equipment enables material to be tested according to ASTM D2863 and ISO 4589-2. Limited oxygen index (LOI) shows the minimum concentration of oxygen that will support combustion of material.

Autoclave, MAVAB
Autoclave, MAVAB

The autoclave is important equipment for modification and chemical treatment of wood. Autoclave enables both vacuum and pressure to be applied on wood, which leads to better penetration of chemicals into wood.

Autoclave, Vapour Line 80-B
Autoclave, Vapour Line 80-B, VWR

The autoclave sterilize laboratory equipment with high pressure and temperature.

Microcentrifuge, Micro Star 17R
Microcentrifuge, Micro Star 17R, VWR

Microcentrifuge can isolate DNA or separate micro volume mixtures.

Thermal cycler, Ristretto
Thermal cycler, Ristretto, VWR

Thermal cycler amplifies segments of DNA via the polymerase chain reaction. Thermal cyclers can be used to facilitate temperature-sensitive reactions.

Biosafety cabinet
Biosafety cabinet, HMC Europe

Biosafety cabinet provides sterile environment to perform microbiological experiments.

Laboratory press
Laboratory press, Fjellman

Laboratory press, Fjellman

Wood panels can be produced in a laboratory press (14 cm x 14 cm) where temperature, closing rate, and pressure can be adjusted.

Drying oven
Drying oven. Model Termaks TS 8430 (Bergen, Norway)

Drying oven

Model Termaks TS 8430 (Bergen, Norway)DescriptionThis equipment is used for drying wood sample. All control functions are built into a microprocessor based electronic controllerwith the highest precision. It has capacity of 430 L (602 ×605 ×1190 mm) which allow to dry larger wood samples as high as 250oC.

Uses Heating and drying purpose.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

ModelJSM-5200 (JEOL, Akishima, Japan)

DescriptionResolution: 5.0 nm (at 25kV, WD10 mm), Accelerating voltage: 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 kV (7 steps), Magnification: × 35 to 200,000 (50,000 realistic maximum), Auto-mag. correction, Specimen movements: X = 10 mm, Y = 20 mm, T = -40 to +90°C, R = 360°C (endless), Working distance: 10, 20, 48 mm.

Uses The SEM is routinely used to generate high-resolution images of shapes of objects.

 

Sputter Apparatus
Sputter Apparatus

Sputter Apparatus

Model Desk II Cold Sputter Unit (Denton Vacuum Inc., Moorestown, USA)

DescriptionThe Denton DESK II Cold/Etch sputter unit is specially designed to clean the SEM specimens’ surface and to deposit gold metal conductive coating on the clean sample surface. A standard 6" diameter pyrex cylinder with top and bottom gaskets sits on an aluminum baseplate. The cylinder is evacuated by a direct-drive vacuum pump mounted within the cabinet. The sputter cathode (gold) is clamped to an insulated aluminum plate in the chamber cover. The cabinet contains a DC power supply rated 0-1200V, 0-50 milliamps. High voltage is available only when the sputter chamber pressure is less than one torr.

Uses Coating of samples with gold prior to SEM observation.

 

Optical Microscope
Optical Microscope

Optical Microscope

Model Olympus BH2-UMA (Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. Japan)

DescriptionConfiguration: bright field and dark field, Illumination type: reflected light, Illumination power: Olympus Model TGH, Olympus BH2-UMA vertical illuminator, Binocular tube: 30°, adjustable brightness, Microscope objectives: 5 ×, 10 ×, 20 ×, 50 ×, Minimum working distance: 10 mm, Eyepieces: CFW (Nikon) with 15 × magnification.

Uses To observe wood microstructure.

 

Microtome
Microtome

Microtome

Model Reichert (Vienna, Austria)

DescriptionThe most famous instrument of the Reichert range−a superb all‒round microtome for cutting uniform sections from 1−30 microns. Manual feed and Naples clamp for precision setting of specimens. Drip pan is included. In case of wood sample, minimum 10 microns thickened sections can be obtained successfully without the disintegration of cell wall. For dried wood sample, pre-treatments are necessary.

Uses Microtome is used for cutting of extremely thin slices of wood, known as sections. It is an important device in microscopy preparation, allowing for the preparation of samples for observation under microscope.

Stereo Zoom Microscope
Stereo Zoom Microscope with BF/DF Transmitted light stand

Stereo Zoom Microscope with BF/DF Transmitted light stand

Model Olympus SZH-ILLD (Tokyo, Japan)

DescriptionSystem is fitted with a USB uEye LE camera, UI-14xLE-C (IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH, Obersulm, Germany). Stereo zoom system with DF Plan APO 1 ×and DF Plan 2 ×objectives on revolving nosepiece. SZH-ILLD transmitted light stand with brightfield and darkfield illumination and integral power supply, pair GWH 10 ×- D eyepieces, SZH-PT photo tube. Binocular angle: 45°, Magnification range: 7 ×‒64 ×.

Uses It allows both stereo and transmitted microscopy. Digital images are possible to capture and store in computer.

High temperature oven
Högtemperaturugn, Nabertherm S19

Högtemperaturugn, Nabertherm S19

Ozonation apparatus
Ozonation apparatus, Ozone technology OT20-120

Ozonation apparatus, Ozone technology OT20-120