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7 000 000 SEK from Formas for research on timber and fires

Formas has granted a total of seven million SEK in research grants for two research projects: one on the significance of knots for the properties of sawn timber and one on innovative methods for detecting smoldering fires.

Min Hu, Associate senior lecturer at the Department of Building Technology, has been awarded 3,999,283 SEK from the early career researcher call for the project The Effect of Knots on the Mechanical Properties of Sawn Timber Based on Computed Tomography, Fiber-Level Modeling, and Deep Learning Methods."

"It feels incredibly fulfilling and exciting. This project represents many hours of hard work and dedication. To see it recognized is extremely satisfying. It's confirmation that our research is valuable and relevant, which gives me even more motivation to continue exploring and understanding the complex properties of wood," said a delighted Min Hu about the announcement." Min Hu says about the announcement.

The project aims to develop on the basis of detailed and comprehensive experimental data, a model for fiber orientation around knots that represents both the regular and the stochastic nature of the governing geometrical properties of the tree, the branches/knots and the fibers.

The model will in the project be utilized in combination with both finite element modelling and deep learning to determine mechanical properties of sawn timber.

"The funding provides us with resources needed to carry out detailed and extensive experimental data collection. Without it, we would not be able to perform the necessary work to fill this gap in assessing the properties of wood-based materials. This is a significant opportunity for us to contribute to science and society at large."

Asim Ibrahim, researcher at the Department of Biology and Environment, has been granted 3,000,000 SEK from the annual open call for the project Early Detection of Smoldering Fires through Innovative Methods.

"It is a milestone to receive grants from Formas as it is extra competitive and difficult to get grant under the category of general research project. The project is a continuation of our mission to make our society free from fire hazards. Industrial fires are common and often have significant and sometimes fatal consequences. A fire also has significant environmental consequences and creates a general inconvenience for those in and around the fire area," Asim Ibrahim says.

In the case of fires in waste, biofuels, recyclable materials, and organic matter, smoldering is the initial stage, which is not visible to the naked eye and cannot be detected with conventional sensors. The project aims to test innovative tools for the early detection of smoldering fires, such as electrical resistivity tomography.

"The list of those affected by a fire and how they are affected can be quite long. Both workers and contractors are affected. Damages often leads to temporary suspension of operations, which in in the long run results in contract losses and high insurance costs. Much of this could be avoided if we can detect fires at an early stage because most fires usually start as small fires," says Asim Ibrahim.