The Laboratory for Wood Technology

The research group Woodlab-UGent is headed by Prof. Joris Van Acker and consists of 12 researchers (1 post-doc, 9 PhD students and 2 researchers) and a support technical staff of five people. Woodlab acquired over 40 years of experience in scientific and technological research on wood and maintains close contacts with all segments of the wood-processing industry and research groups involved in the forestry-wood chain. More information can be found on the website of the group.

Woodlab-UGent joined the UGCT in 2009 and has acquired substantial knowledge on scanning wood and from wood-derived materials using X-ray CT, mainly with the Nanowood scanner - which is located at Woodlab-UGent - but also with the other systems at UGCT. X-ray CT scanning is employed in the three main domains investigated, i.e. in structural research, service life and forest products.


This domain comprises activities on wood biology, wood quality, wood and tree properties both for temperate and tropical regions. Investigation of the hierarchical structure of different wood species is essential in this respect and necessitates a range of imaging tools such as standard light microscopy, stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and naturally, X-ray CT scanning. The non-destructive visualization of the 3D structure, but also high-resolution densitometrical profiling, of the latter technique is complementary to the others and enables unprecedented insight. Additionally, time dependent processes, such as swell-shrink behavior can be monitored as well with high detail

Service Life

This topic deals with biological durability, wood modification, wood preserving, coatings and service life predicting. It actually covers a large range of research aiming at an increased service of a wood product by protection against wood degrading organisms and outdoor weathering conditions. Woodlab-UGent disposes of a set of tools to assess the performance of wood and wood-based re-engineered wooden products, both for lab-based testing as well as larger outdoor set-ups. A combination of such set-ups with X-ray CT scanning allows periodic monitoring of structure and density of the wood material.

Forest products

This links to processing and industrial products both as materials (sawn timber, wood based panels, pulp and paper, etc) and as bio-energy. Research is performed on wood and wood based panels, a.o. with focus on product optimization. The topic os bio-energy is also tackled here, more specifically the use of wood as a source of energy by thermal / thermochemical conversion.