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Wood and Cork

Wood and Cork

Development of wood and cork products better adapted to use, more sustainable and competitive within the bioeconomy and circular economy strategies, is our objective.

Grupo de investigación dependiente del

Forest Products Department of the Institute of Forestry Sciences (ICIFOR)

Research on wood and cork products characteristics for their different applications allows: 

  • the right selection for their use
  • improve the design adapted to the purpose
  • comply with environmental and social demands.

Hence, we generate a better image and eligibility from designers and users in general.

Nowadays, these materials have relevant uses in engineering and construction. Their contribution must be in accordance with standard requirements and expectations for structural performance and durability.

We have unique laboratories in the State Administration and reference in the sector such as the Wood Protection and Cork laboratories. In the first one, the efficacy of more than 300 preservative products against fungi and xylophages insects has been tested. Also, has two insect breeding sites and a mycology library. In addition, the integrated management of the forest-industry-market value chain requires knowledge and tools to support decision-making in forest management and to identify factors that affect raw materials quality.

Technology, transfer, innovation and direct advice to users and prescribers have an important role in this Group, which supports accredited laboratories (national benchmarks) or quality systems as a way to ensure the services provided.


Characterization of raw materials and derivated products.

In this line, the Group has defined the Strength Classes for each quality of the main national timber species used for construction purpose, now they included in national and European standards. Their knowledge let the timber structural calculation with Building Technical Code requirements. We also help to innovation and optimization through the characterization of any wood products, as well as to help in quality evaluation and structural calculation needs. Support for ENAC accreditation according to ISO 17025 of the Laboratory of Wood Products for Construction, is decisive.

In addition, in the Cork Laboratory we characterize cork as a raw material (sheet cork), by-product (granulates and agglomerates) or final product (cork stoppers). We analyze, among others, the mechanical behavior and the effects that environmental changes have on it.

Timber in-use behavior

We carry out the functional characterization of the behavior of wood elements under exterior conditions above ground, quantifying the effect of the local climate, the microclimate, the species and the design depending on the exposure time. From the results of this work, empirical indexes and spreadsheets (link to Madexter spreadsheet) have been developed for the assignment of the classes of use of the UNE-EN 335 standard as well as for the prediction of the service life of the solid wood (

Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE)

Our Group works to determine the wood quality and properties using non material-harmful techniques: Non Destructive Evaluations. Their diversity requires from research of the advantages, applications and methodologies of them in forest, industry and timber in-use. This knowledge is very useful for the end user and for its fine-tuning for the industry.

Pre-standard research

The representation of the group members in global research networks (International Research Group on Wood Protection) and in national, European and international standardization committees (AEN CT 56, 43, 198, CEN TC 38, 124), allows our contribution decision-making on the content of the regulations that manufacturers, prescribers and users require. This is possible through the experience and knowledge that we acquire and develop in the group's facilities and lines of research.

Protocols for the detection of wood decay organisms in buildings

According to sector´s demands, it has being elaborated a protocol for detecting the damaged produced by wood decay organisms which is necessary for the evaluation of buildings constructed with timber (IEE, Building Evaluation Report), which is present in Spain in those constructed before 1920.

Research in alternatives to chemical wood protectors

The European Biocidal Regulation is very restrictive with the traditional chemical products, because their toxicity for the environment. For this the natural products actually are being investigated, through the biocontrol and the bio protection.

The Pine Wood Nematode (PWN) Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer 1934) Nickle 1970 is the causal agent of Pine Wilt Disease, which leads to the sudden decay and death of trees. It affects forest stands of conifers, and its aggressiveness has forced the European Union to take measures to prevent its spread. For this reason, we are working in the control through chemical, physical and biological treatments.

Durability of wood species

As current work is being studying the natural durability of Spanish and tropical wood species applying the European Standardization in order to know the life in service.

Development of tools for decision making in the management of cork oak forests

Along these lines, we develop tools that help in decision-making in the management of cork oak forests. We study at different scales the dynamics and growth of the different types of cork oak forests (meadows and cork oak forests), taking into account the influence of silvicultural treatments and uncorking. The biotic and abiotic factors that affect them are considered, with special incidence on climate change.


Wood and Cork Memebrs

Coordinador de Grupo

  • (2023)
    Aplicación de la espectroscopia de infrarrojo cercano (NIRS) para la caracterización y evaluación de la calidad del corcho utilizado en la fabricación de tapones
    Dirección: Mariola Sánchez-González, José Ramón González Adrados | Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Antonio Ruano Sastre
    Analysis of methodologies to evaluate juvenile Wood with regard to Wood quality.
    Dirección: Eva Hermoso y Juan Fernandez-Golfin | Universidad de Córdoba
  • Eleana Spavento
    Caracterización y mejora tecnológica de la madera de Populus euramericana I-214 (Dode) Guinier, con fines estructurales
    Dirección: Luis Acuña y Maite de Troya | Universidad de Valladolid, Ingeniería Agroforestal
  • Mª José Barriola
    Caracterización mecánica de la madera estructural de alerce del Japón (Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carr.) e influencia de la época de corta en sus propiedades
    Dirección: Luis Acuña y Maite de Troya | Universidad de Valladolid, Ingeniería Agroforestal
  • Modelo de utilidad: “Protocolo de actuación en cascos urbanos afectados por ataques de termitas subterráneas”
    Patente | UNE 56-418
  • Teresa de Troya
    Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BAM 2507 (CECT 7313) degradador de residuos oleosos de la industria alimentaria y hotelera y procedimiento para su aplicación
    Patente | P200800450
  • Dispositivo para la emulación de la humedad de la madera y procedimiento asociado a dicho dispositivo
    Patente | ES-2458267 A1

Quality commitment

The group has ENAC accreditation according to ISO 17025 of its laboratory for physical-mechanical testing of Wood Products for Construction.

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