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Student Assistants

The Holzforschung München of the Technical University of Munich regularly seeks  new student assistants for participation in research projects. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Tania Simon.

Graduation work

Research Area Chemistry of Raw Material and Products

[BSc /MSc] The contact angle measurement of adhesives on the native and extract-free wood surfaces Background:

 Background::

Bonding is a key technology in many areas, and reliable wood-adhesive bonds are crucial for future wood-biomass utilization. For a good quality of the bonding, the adhesives need to form a contact with the wood surface at the molecular level. This process is highly related to the surface energies of the wood and adhesives.

Although extractable wood components (extracts) represent a minor fraction of wood, the polar/non-polar components within their chemistry might have an influence on the wood surface energy therefore also on the bonding quality.

The contact angle (Ɵo) measurement is a widely used technique for evaluating the surface energy by means of the shape of a drop placed on a surface (Fig.1a). More specifically, the concept of the contact angle gives a definition to the notion of wettability on the surface (Fig.1b).

Topic:

In the scope of this study, the wettability properties of both water and adhesives (e.g. MUF, PUR etc.) will be measured on the unmodified wood surfaces from different species (e.g. spruce, Douglas fir, beech, chestnut etc.) but also extract free wood surfaces to which several extraction procedures are applied (e.g. hot/cold water, organic solvent extraction). Moreover, how extracts vary between different species will be investigated.

Reference

[1] Relation of the Equilibrium Contact Angle to Liquid and Solid Constitution. W. A. ZISMAN. U. S. Naval Research Laboratory. Washington 25

Contact:

Dr. Merve Özparpucu 

Dr. Elisabeth Windeisen-Holzhauser

Research Area Resource Flow Management

Graduation works

We are constantly able to offer interesting project topics for BSc and MSc theses with a focus on material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, sustainability assessment concerning renewable resources, especially wood/wood products. Please approach us with any questions you might have!

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Weber-Blaschke

[M.Sc.] Influence of inherent wood properties on the results of wood-related LCA studies

The working group on Material Flow Management at the Chair of Wood Science offers a master’s thesis with a methodological focus on wood-related LCA studies. We are searching for an interested candidate to conduct parameter studies to analyze the influence of inherent wood properties like density, moisture or biogenic carbon on the results of LCA studies.. The Master's Thesis is closely related to the current research project "Hardwood utilization in the scope of an efficient bioeconomy" (LauBiOek). The Master's student will also gain direct insights into the LauBiOek research project:
https://www.hfm.tum.de/en/chair-of-wood-science/ra-resource-flow-management/projects/


Goal and objectives

  • Identification of relevant, inherent wood properties on the level of different tree species as well as property differences between softwoods and hardwoods that may influence the LCA results and should thus be considered
  • Literature review on the consideration of the identified parameters in LCA studies on wood-based products
  • Definition and modelling of LCA systems for different wood products (mass timber products, derived timber products) using openLCA software
  • Parameter analysis using the LCA system to determine the influence of the identified wood properties on the LCA results
  • Development of recommendations for the consideration of specific wood properties in future LCA studies

Requirements

  • Basic knowledge about wooden resources and/or life cycle assessment
  • Interest in modelling
  • Working in a team

In case of interest, please contact Anna Sander-Titgemeyer (sander-titgemeyer@hfm.tum.de).

[M.Sc.] Carbon sequestration and temporal storage in life cycle assessment on the example cascade use of wood

The working group Material Flow Management of the Chair of Wood Science is looking for an interested student to evaluate different life cycle assessment methodologies for taking into account the sequestration and temporary storage of biogenic carbon. The thesis is part of a national research project on the cascade use of wood. It thus offers the possibility of a practical implementation of different life cycle assessment methods.

Goals and tasks

  • Research on currently discussed assessment methods to consider carbon sequestration and temporary storage in life cycle assessment
  • Description and critical comparison of the different assessment methods
  • Comparison of two chosen assessment methods for practical application using a self-chosen example system in the field of cascade use of wood
  • Software-supported modelling of the life cycle system
  • Comparison and critical discussion of the results
  • Derivation of recommendations regarding the selection of the assessment methodology for carbon sequestration and temporary storage, taking into account the specifics of the cascade use of wood

The thesis will be conducted at the Holzforschung München, Winzererstr. 45 in Munich. A working area will be provided.

If you are interested, please contact Pia Szichta, (0)89 2180 6431.

Material Science and Engineering

Wood Technology

[MSc] Modelling of buckling behaviour of beech glued laminated timber columns

Beech (fagus sylvatica) stock in German forests is increasing [1] while the use of beech wood for construction purposes is not popular yet. Beech glued laminated timber offers high compression strength and stiffness which makes it favourable to be used in load bearing columns. Beside possible material failure due to increase in stresses, these columns may face stability issues, such as buckling as well.

 

Buckling behaviour of columns can be studied and be modelled by means of Finite Element method. Finite element models, in general need to be validated for their extended use in application. Experimental testing of the buckling behaviour of beech glulam columns has been performed at Holzforschung München without considering structural imperfections in single layers [2]. However, the dynamic material properties of the applied lamellas in the beech glulam are available. Dynamic properties of these lamellas exhibit a correlation with strength and stiffness properties [3]. It was also shown that material heterogeneities and imperfections are influencing the strength properties of beech lamellas. Therefore, after studying the influence of these lamella imperfections on stability of the glulam and by further developing the method for modelling of buckling, setups need to be suggested for glulam beams based on the available dynamic properties of single lamellas in this thesis. In the end, some experimental testing on beech glulam columns will be performed where dynamic properties as well as locations and sizes of the knots in the single layers are known.

Tasks of the thesis are:

  • Studying of orthotropic and heterogeneous behaviour of wood and its influence on stability problems.
  • Suggesting setups for beech glulam, based on the available strength and stiffness properties of single lamellas from tension tests.
  • Further developing the provided approach for simulation of buckling behaviour.
  • Performing small set of experiments on beech glulam columns (where the information about imperfections in single lamellas are known) for validation of the model.

Required knowledge:

  • Background in modelling and simulations

Date: WS 20/21

Supervisor: Monika Zeilhofer, Ani Khaloian Sarnaghi

[1]     Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2015): The forests in Germany. Selected results of the third national forest inventory.

[2]     Zeilhofer, M. (2019): Mechanical behaviour of beech glued laminated timber columns subjected to compression loading. Master’s Thesis, Holzforschung München.

[3]     Westermayr, M.; Stapel, P.; van de Kuilen, J.W. (2018): Tensile strength and stiffness of low quality beech (Fagus sylvatica) sawn timber. WCTE.

 

[BSc/MSc] Tension and compression strength of beech glued laminated timber with stochastic member setup

The load carrying capacity of beech glued laminated timber is regulated in the general technical approval Z-9.1-679:2014. The strength and stiffness of a member depends on the sorting class of the employed lamellas. A research project at Holzforschung München showed that beech glulam members partially manufactured from low quality beech lamellas achieve high compression and tension strength. The members in the research project were built up from lamellas specifically arranged by their dynamic Modulus of Elasticity. In practical application, the lamellas are sorted into strength classes and glulam members are constructed with randomly chosen lamellas from the sorting class. Tension and compression tests should be performed in this work in order to transform the results of the scientifically built up beech glulam members to stochastically arranged beech glulam members.

Goals and tasks

  • Familiarisation with the relevant literature
  • Performance of compression and tensile tests on beech glulam beams
  • Evaluation of the test results

The results of the work are to be presented in an approx. 30-minute lecture at the Wood Science Seminar of the Wood Research Munich.

Date: from winter 2020

Supervision & Contact: Monika Zeilhofer

Fungal Biotechnology in Wood Science

Professorship of Fungal Biotechnology in Wood Science

We are constantly able to offer interesting project topics for BSc and MSc theses with a focus on the microbiology and genetics of fungi.

Exemplary research areas:

  • Identification and characterization of fungi in environmental samples
  • Physiological responses to different C-sources
  • Regulatory networks of substrate perception and utilization
  • Sugar transport processes
  • Bioengineering of fungal carbon metabolism

Requirements:

  • above-average Bachelor/Master study records in Biology, Biotechnology, Bioprocess Engineering or similar (other curricula possible after prior consultation)
  • experience with microbiological or genetics techniques are an advantage
  • proficiency in German and English

Please approach us with any questions you might have!#

Contact:

Prof. Dr. J. Philipp Benz

Internship