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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-06-04 - 2022-03-03

Climate change with an already significant increase in damaged spruce causes great challenges to the forestry-wood chain, but also to society. Due to the climate problem, a clear trend towards the increased use of hardwood can already be observed in Austria. Based on the current raw material supply in Austria and Central Europe, the corresponding industrial processing chains and product categories have developed. A fundamental and significant change in tree species, in particular a clear shift in the supply spectrum from spruce-dominated softwood to hardwood, poses major challenges for the timber industry, which is currently operating very successfully. In particular, the currently strongly growing market of timber construction, which is mainly based on spruce wood, will come under pressure as a result. The competitiveness of the timber construction industry, which is in strong competition with other building materials, is threatened by a lack of raw material supply. Alternative softwood species besides spruce, such as Douglas fir and Coast grand fir and other potentially useful softwood species, will therefore gain in importance. The present project proposal focuses on the Coast grand fir as a possible alternative or supplement to the changing tree species spectrum. Based on a well-founded literature research in the international and national context, supplemented by international practical experience (above all on the part of the timber industry), which is available for the Coast grand fir (also in comparison to other coniferous species), this literature research is to be supplemented by qualitative expert interviews. The aim is to identify and evaluate forestry potentials that go beyond publications on the basis of international case studies.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-04-01 - 2024-03-31

In order to increase the range of electric vehicles, the weight of batteries must be reduced and the available space in the underbody between the subframe and the rear axle must be used in the best possible way. Aluminum as a material for battery housings has a high potential for lightweight construction, but is disadvantageous in terms of fire protection, costs and ecological footprint during production. One approach to reducing the weight, installation space and costs of batteries is functional integration, i.e. that components take over several multi-physical functions: Thermoregulation, vibration damping, impact energy dissipation, fire protection, electromagnetic shielding, ... By combining wood and steel in a battery casing, favorable structural-mechanical and thermal properties of both materials can complement each other and can therefore be exploited. The project Bio!LIB aims to demonstrate that the combination of these materials can provide (1) excellent temperature management, (2) crash performance, (3) vibration damping, (4) thermal propagation containment (at a level of state-of-the-art enclosures and beyond) in combination with (5) low costs and low weight and (6) a small ecological footprint. This is demonstrated by means of a segment (in module or cell stack size) of a battery housing. Aspects of connection, manufacturing technology, increased durability through wood modification, material separation and recycling are also investigated.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-05-01 - 2025-04-30

Bio-based hybrid materials and components have a high potential to contribute to climate targets of Paris 2050 in terms of material substitution. CARpenTiER is a research programme that aims to strengthen the future supply industry (Tiers) for the automotive industry in the field of engineering, processing and machining components made from renewable raw materials. CAR stands for computer aided research, which is demanded for improved material modelling in terms of reliability and computing speed and process control. The production of such bio-based hybrid structures demands new and adapted production processes, especially in the fields of shaping, joining, treatment and surface technology. The natural variability of the raw material is a major challenge for material efficiency and process control, which will be meet by the approach of function-oriented process control. The basic idea of function-oriented process control is the individual processing of the raw material and each individual component in analogy to trained craftsmen. The vision of CARpenTiER is therefore to further promote digitization and computer-based research in the field of material and process control of bio-based hybrid components. The mission of CARpenTiER is to foster the Austrian wood and automotive supply industry for the future production of bio-based hybrid components for the future mobility sector and beyond (i.e. mechanical engineering).

Supervised Theses and Dissertations