DEPARTMENT OF WOOD SCIENCE
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Wood Science of the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of the Mendel University in Brno deals in its academic and scientific activities with examination of properties of wood and wood-based materials. Scientific researchers engage in solving and develop advanced methods of modification of wood mass for the purpose of improvement of its native properties. Modification procedures include impregnation processes by organic (extractives, bio-oils) and inorganic substances (ammonia, DMDHEU, nanoparticles), by thermic and hydrothermal processes, processes optimizing factors of production process (in particular temperature and pressure variation), processes applying alternative technological processes (microwave and plasma treatment) and processes combining individual techniques. The Department of Wood Science makes chemical, physical and mechanical analyses, including tests of assessment of qualitative parameters of wood-based materials and resulting products. The Department focuses on the following partial areas: wood anatomy, dendrochronology, experimental identifying of physical and mechanical properties of wood and wood-based materials, modelling of physical/mechanical phenomena, wood protection, wood drying, wood modification, composite wood-based materials, development of new materials and arboriculture and biomechanics.
The Department of Wood Science participates in teaching of courses in the following bachelor's programs:
B-ARB Arboriculture, B-DSGN Furniture Design, B-DREV Wood Technology, B-LES Forestry, B-NAB Furniture and B-STAV Wood-based Constructions. The Department of Wood Science participates also in teaching of courses in the following master's programs: N-DSGN Furniture Design, N-DI Wood Engineering, N-EUFO European Forestry, N-NI Furniture Engineering, N-STAV Wood-based Constructions.
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
At present the Department of Wood Science concentrates not only on wood, but also on properties and development of other materials (in particular wood-based materials). The Department in its modern existence focused also on numerical simulation of physical and mechanical phenomena (in particular in wood), which enables, using computer technology, to model processes that would be difficult to carry out experimentally and also optimize properties and behavior of products.
Important is also issue of development of new composite materials or wood modification for the purpose of improvement of some of its material properties and limitation of properties that are undesirable for the given purpose.
In recent years the Department of Wood Science has focused also on arboriculture and related tree biomechanics, on the basis of which it is possible to assess tree stability, in particular in conurbations.
FACILITIES FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH
Wood anatomy laboratory is equipped for production of microscopic wood sections, their subsequent observation and image analysis. Wood protection laboratory ensures research and development of new wood preservatives against biotic agents and abiotic factors. There are biohazard box, incubator and sterilization autoclave in the laboratory. Dendrochronology laboratory is at present equipped under standard European model for collection and processing of all dendrological material from recent, wood, historical monuments, historical objects to archaeological wood and subfossil trunks. Wood impregnation laboratory has a unique laboratory vacuum pressure impregnation plant for protection and modification of wood properties. Water- or oil-based substances that can be heated up to 160 °C may be used for impregnation. In the thermal modification laboratory wood can be thermally modified for the purpose of improvement of its desirable material properties. Modification is carried out in a chamber in inert atmosphere with selectable temperature range up to 240 °C. Laboratory for microwave modification of wood is equipped with continual microwave device for microwave modification of wood. Laboratory for examination of physical and mechanical properties of wood and development of new wood-based materials carries out experimental identifying of physical and mechanical properties of wood and wood-based materials. In chemical laboratory we make chemical analyses of samples. It is equipped with gas and liquid chromatograph and photospectrometer.
The Department of Wood Science cooperates for example with the following companies: Akzo Nobel, Befi, Bernkopf, Bochemie, a.s., Impregnace Soběslav s.r.o., Katres spol. s r.o., Koryna, a.s., TON, a. s., MATRIX, a.s., Jan Ficek Dřevovýroba Chrudim, s.r.o.
The Department of Wood Science also cooperates for example with the following institutions and public benefit organizations: Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the CAS, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Archaia Brno o.p.s. , Archaia Olomouc o.p.s. , Poodří Protected Landscape Area, etc.
The Department has for example the following foreign partners: Slovenian Forestry Institute, Slovenia, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, BOKU Vienna, Austria, University of Vienna, Austria, AGH-University Cracow, Poland, University of Freiburg, Germany, German Archaeological Institute, Germany, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, etc.