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Understanding hygroscopic properties of wood through multiscale modeling

  • PROJECT CODE: BI-LT/20-22-002
  • PROJECT TITLE: Understanding hygroscopic properties of wood through multiscale modelling (HYGRO-WOOD)
  • PROJECT LEADER: Veerapandian Ponnuchamy, PhD
  • PERIOD: 01.11.2020 – 31.10.2022
  • BUDGET: €2,000.00
  • FINANCING: ARRS
  • PARTNERS: InnoRenew CoE (Slovenia); Lithuanian Energy Institute (Lithuania)

Wood is an anisotropic material that has a strong tendency to absorb water, which causes changes to its mechanical properties, dimensional stability, durability and physical and chemical properties. Multiscale modeling can capture moisture-induced wood at a resolution down to the atomic level.

HYGRO-WOOD will use state-of-the-art multiscale techniques, including density functional theory (DFT), molecular dynamics (MD) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), to investigate wood’s thickest cell layer (secondary cell wall [S2]) and understand its hygroscopic and mechanical behavior from atomic to molecular and continuum scale. Moisture sorption and desorption process models will be developed and compared with experimental adsorption process. Hydrogen bond information within a polymer matrix will be elucidated in order to demonstrate how variation of moisture content changes the hydrogen bond pattern between wood components. The overall goal is to investigate the underlying mechanism of water molecules influencing properties such as hygroscopic swelling and mechanical weakening of wood, which can be upscaled to continuum modeling to provide material properties.

InnoRenew CoE project activities

InnoRenew CoE will help in construction of an MD model consisting of crystalline cellulose, non-crystalline hemicellulose and lignin and investigate the understanding of moisture response behavior in separate wood component systems. Researchers will work on construction of integrated S2 layer with wood components and study different hydration levels to analyze hydromechanical properties.