Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI)
Product development and new materials
New ideas for the application of timber and similar materials constantly arise due to the ever-present technological developments and changing demands on products. INSERCO cooperates with the Fraunhofer WKI to make sure its customers have access to these technological developments and, at the same time, allow customers to promote and shape these developments. Both companies are working together to find technological solutions and new applications for wood and its derived products.
The Department of Process and System Technology for Timber Derived Products has created a wide spectrum of materials. It includes chipboard and fibreboard; engineered wood products (OSB, plywood, LVL); wood-polymer materials; 3D-shaped parts made out of natural fibers and composite materials in a small industrial scale; as well as resistant wood foams.
Process chains can be fully recreated at the industrial plants available in WKI’s technical center. The Department of Process and System Technology for Timber Derived Products has also focused its research on measurement procedures and quality control, and on non-destructive testing methods. These tests reliably detect structural manufacturing faults, such as gaps between layers and unwanted structural abnormalities and structural cracks.
Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Institut WKI Klauditz - Researching wood with responsibility and a vision
For over 65 years, WKI has focused on achieving sustainability by using renewable raw materials. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research has locations in Brunswick, Hanover and Wolfsburg. It specializes in areas, such as process engineering, natural fiber plastic composites, wood conservation and pollution control, quality control of timber products, material and product testing, recycling processes. And it also explores the use of wood and organic building materials in the construction field.
The Fraunhofer´s Institute WKI is a research facility that systematically studies the complexity of renewable resources and conducts research to find practical applications for these materials, considering their different facets and interrelations. Currently, almost all procedures and materials that have emerged from the institute’s research are being used industrially. WKI’s work is application-oriented. The institute collaborates closely with companies in the timber and furniture industry, supply industry, as well as construction, chemical and automotive industries.
Since its establishment, WKI’s task has been to achieve optimal exploitation of raw wood and develop technical applications for wood residues and small wood. Until now, the research institute has focused on wood as a key material for sustainable development and the solution to environmental and socio-economic challenges.
The Institute was incorporated into the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1970. It has currently 130 full-time employees and is one of the largest applied wood research facilities in Europe.
As an accredited testing facility, WKI receives requests for material testing and quality control from all over the world. The range of the institute´s tasks also includes quality control of timber products and other materials by using non-destructive methods such as thermography and ultrasound. WKI's expertise focuses on six departments: systems engineering and processes on timber based materials; analysis of materials and indoor air; surface technology; the center for construction of environmentally friendly and light weight buildings; quality control and analysis; and application center for HOFZET wood fiber research.
As an integral part of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, WKI benefits from the synergy with other institutes of the “Construction Materials and Components” Group, as well as with several outside alliances between institutes and with the Sustainability Network. WKI operates worldwide and works on projects with research institutions and industrial partners in all five continents. The cooperation between INSERCO and WKI allows a deeper integration with the industrial sector in Latin America in the tasks involved. The work focuses particularly on the development of new products and alternative raw materials. A cooperation agreement for Latin America was signed between WKI and INSERCO as a strategic direction to introduce the technological potential of WKI´s research to the producers and investors in these countries.