Oakwoods: Propriedades da madeira de carvalhos portugueses para produção de produtos sólidos e compostos de madeira de valor elevado
The overall objective is the strengthening of the Portuguese oak forests and of the high value wood industry based on endogenous oak species (Quercus suber and Quercus faginea), by obtaining knowledge regarding the wood properties and technological quality of two species that are not used for high value wood production which can be translated into technical wood guidelines and forest management orientations. This general objectiv of diversification of wood supply will also allow to consider the introduction in the European market of new noble woods that can substitute in several uses imported tropical woods.
With this perspective the project is divided in four tasks. The first part of the project (Prospective analysis of forest stands and wood supply) aims to assess the availability and conditions of the existing stands of Quercus faginea (Portuguese oak) and of the pre-thinning stands of Quercus suber (cork oak) leading to a prospective analysis of wood supply from these species. The expected results include the distribution and characteristics of the existing stands of Portuguese oak (Quercus faginea) with a mapping based on the national forest inventory, the assessment of the prospective thinning situation in the cork oak (Quercus suber) stands, the estimation of volumes and potential wood availability for both species and an evaluation of the impact as regards changes in carbon stored and of sustainability requirements. With the results of the other tasks, an orientation towards forest management guidelines directed to wood production will be given.
The second part of the project concentrates on the wood characterization as a material. The Portuguese oak wood (Quercus faginea) will be studied in relation to anatomical features, density, dimensional variation, mechanical strength, surface properties and durability; similarly the wood of the “thinnable” cork oaks (Quercus suber) will be characterised. Wood equilibrium moisture diagrams will be investigated for both woods as well as the within and between tree variation of anatomy and density.
In the third part of the project and with the expertise and support of VTTTechnical Research Centre of Finland, the application of a model and 3D representation of cork oak stems, graphic displays of virtual logs and flitches and sawing simulations for optimising bucking into logs and component production yields, will be done. A cork oak dedicated software will be made by adapting existing computer tools.
In the fourth task, and using all the knowledge obtained, a development of wood products and of assembled components for high value uses directed to the flooring, interior construction and furniture segments, will take place. The pilot production of veneer from cork oak and the evaluation of its aesthetical properties will be made as well as the production of wood products such as flooring and wood based panels from both oak woods. Primary conversion of stems will take place in industrial environment and operational conditions of sawing and kiln-drying will be tested, including volume yield determinations. The results will allow to prepare a technical information sheet for both oak woods directed to the industry. As an overall result impacts at economic and environmental levels for the forest and the forest products industry are expected. Namely the diversification of the wood supply to the industry within the high quality range; valuation of a non-used species (Q. faginea) or a non-wood value species (Q. suber); increased management of dense oak stands; increased afforestation with these species with ecological benefits, i.e. regarding fire risk; strategic diversification of cork oaks use (now only one-product oriented).
The knowledge generated will be integrated immediately within the participating institutions, which due to their activity ensure its dissemination to the forest sector and wood construction users (two Universities and one State Laboratory). The international cooperation with the forest-to-wood research group in VTT—Technical Research group of Finland will be strengthened. Efforts will be done to disseminate the results to a broader public, and a final workshop on Portuguese oak uses will be organized.