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It has been developed a bio-adhesive that increases the strength of timber beams and columns by 30 percent

The European consortium of the R&D CELLUWOOD Project, in which the Instituto Tecnológico del Mueble, Madera, Embalaje y Afines (AIDIMA) takes an active part has successfully applied an adhesive from non-petroleum sources for glued laminated timber (Glulam) to be used in huge structures and constructions. The adhesive increases the strength of the laminated timber by 30 percent, up to a tensile strength of 3.400 kilograms, according to the preliminary results of the above-mentioned project.

Breaking test in a sample of timber laminated with bio-resin. There is delamination at the moment of fracture. Source: TECNIFUSTA

So far, the chemical industry has not yet developed non-petrochemical adhesives that improve the mechanical strength of large glulam structures for buildings, such as beams and columns supporting structural loads”,  Miguel Ángel Abián says. He is the Head of the Timber Construction Area and the Project Coordinator at AIDIMA. Bio-adhesivesThis is the first one of a new generation of bio-adhesives, or bio-resines, for their application in glulam and these new adhesives will substitute traditional glues, such as Melamine-Urea-Formaldehyde (MUF)”, the researcher says. “Bio-resin products look and act just like regular plastics, but they don‘t depend on petroleum and they are carbon neutral. Everything from disposable food packaging to telephones can be made from bio-resins. World production giants are moving their production to incorporate bio-resins into their products: John Deere is building tractor bodies out of bio-resins, and Boeing and Airbus are replacing old aircrafts with new bio-resin bodies. Bio-resins are a vast future market.

Lignin bio-resin developed in the project

The bio-resins developed in the EU CELLUWOOD Project (Laminated Strong Eco-Material for Building Construction made of Cellulose-Strengthened Wood) are based on lignin, tannins and Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL). Initially, the research has selected a bio-resin base on lignin to laminate timber beams. Lignin is an abundant bio-polymer present in woody plants providing the glue that binds fibres such as cellulose together. Today, most of the lignin is not isolated but instead it is used in the form of black liquor as internal energy input for the paper industry. “The lignin bio-resin applied to glulam has achieved promising results”, says Abián, who is also the Head of the Wood Technology and Biotechnology Department at the Technology Centre. “But R&D processes are long, and we need more tests. At this moment, the Tecnifusta Company is performing some tests for determining the tensile strength and they are reinforcing wood by repairing defects like knots and cracks with this bio-resin.Real-scale tests It is necessary the confirmation that the CELLUWOOD materials meet the requirements to be used as beams and columns for building construction. The real-scale tests will be started in next October. They will include bond strength, and physical and mechanical properties in accordance with the Technical Building Code (TBC). According to Miguel Ángel Abián, the partners of the project are currently developing a Business Plan to exploit “these great results”.

Reinforcement of wood through the application of bio-resin in defects such as knots and cracks. Source: TECNIFUSTA

The major output of the project will be a major new market for laminated wood in construction: Eco-Beams and columns, and production technologies. This will stimulate rural economies in all EU states and promote the planting and good management of new woodland, with its attendant environmental benefits. The clear result of this market's emergence will be a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of construction within the EU and, eventually, world wide, as the proposed engineered timber became a viable and cost-effective substitute for conventional strong construction materials that are high CO2 emitters during manufacture. A further beneficial result of the new material's emergence is that water consumption will be greatly reduced in both the manufacturing and construction phases. International consortium The EU Project CELLUWOOD is formed by an international consortium including the Instituto Tecnológico del Mueble, Madera, Embalaje y Afines (AIDIMA); Brunel University (UK); Chimar Hellas (Greece), Contemporary Building Design (Slovenia); Tecnifusta (Spain); InnovaWood (Belgium); and InWood Developments (UK), which coordinates the Project. This project is co-funded by the CIP Eco-innovation First Application and Market Replication Projects Initiative. Through the Eco-innovation funding scheme, the EU wants to support innovative products, services and technologies that can make a better use of our natural resources and reduce Europe’s ecological footprint. With its objective to bridge the gap between research and the market, CIP Eco-innovation contributes to the implementation of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan. In the case of AIDIMA, the first year of the project (2012) was co-funded by IVACE (Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial) and FEDER funds. AIDIMA has requested IVACE the co-funding of the second year of the project. (*) Bioresins are polymers (plastic) made from organic materials in which carbon is derived from a renewable resource via biological processes (corn, sugar, forest resources and any residual agricultural waste, such as rice straw, grape vine trimmings, corn husks or sugar cane bagasse). Source: AIDIMA Read more news related Aidima published at Infurma Visit the Aidima website
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