In the last 4 of October in Tarragona, was the annual convention of FEPM www.fepm.es (the Spanish Federation of Parquet Producers). The innovative walnut floor from WOODNA [www.woodna.es] the brand of Bosques Naturales to commercialized the wood products) won the award of the Best product of 2018 [http://www.fepm.es/premios/mejor-producto].
The award rewards manufacturers or distributors of products or machines that have been presented this year.
This innovative product was presented in our showroom located in Madrid and the interest from architects and designers has been expressed, they value the three main characteristics of WOODNA floor: important environmental features, customizable design and excellent technical properties. More details of the product are summarized in the WOODNA webpage [https://woodna.es/en/floors-and-panels/geometric-oval-grain-walnut-wood/]
This innovative floor is manufactured from sustainable walnut wood from the planted forests of Bosques Naturales SA in Spain, with only twelve years old trees.
Product: Woodna Oblicua Geométrica
Making by: Bosques Naturales, S.A.
Following the agreement among Tabu s.r.l, Francesco Mattioli and Bosques Naturales, walnut owners and growers (Fig.1), in autumn 2018 it was possible to carry out some tests for the production of veneers from walnut trees coming from thinning.
The following trees were chosen (tab. 1): four trees of common walnut (J. regia) coming from Mantova province, four trees of black walnut (J. nigra) coming from Casale Monferrato and 12 trees of hybrids (J. major × J. regia) coming from Spain. The trees were all between 18 and 25 years old, the diameters at breast height were between 29 and 38 cm. The logs of common and black walnut were, in average, 3,5 – 4,0 m long, while the logs of hybrids were shorter: 2,6 m long. In general, all the logs were smaller if compared with those normally worked by Tabu.
The trial followed the normal protocol for veneers production: logs were debarked and roughly squared by a band saw, then they were placed in water at 80 °C for about two days; these initial procedures are necessary to make the trunks workable with the blades.
Whole logs were put in the slicer, given the small size, and were turned once the central part of the trunk (with too big knots) was reached.
The first veneers obtained, irregular and very small or short, were discarded. Being the log quite small, the discards weighed heavily on the final yield; moreover, the frequent presence of open big knots in the trunk also caused a loss of yield.
The following tables and figures explain the trial result; these results were reported during the ‘4° International Congress on Planted Forests’, Beijin, China, and at the ‘Rete Rurale’ meeting, held in December in Rome; they will also be utilized for a future publication.
1 – Logs tested
2 - Logs preparation
3 - Slicing
3 - Measurements and evaluations
For each log, every 30 veneers one was sampled, numbered and measured (width at the base and at the top in the fresh state)
5 – Drying
All veneers were dried for few minutes to reach about 12 % of moisture content
After this operation, our samples were transported to the CREA laboratories for further measurements, while the others continued the normal production process of Tabu.
6 - Other measurements in CREA laboratory
Veneers were measured after drying to evaluate shrinking and total veneer yield. Moreover, type, position and number of knots were recorded.
The knots represent one of the main problems for slicing process, affecting both quality of veneers and coloration process. Open knots damage the blade of slicer, which leaves a deep mark on the following wooden sheets; the machine must be stopped and the blade sharpened manually before proceeding. Knots of this kind cannot be accepted and the log must consequently be discarded. Sound knots do not cause problems to the blades but they affect the aesthetic of the veneer and cause unintended variations in the coloring process; therefore, also sound knots constitute a problem.
7 – First results
Due to the small dimensions of trees and to the high percentage of knots, the yield was quite low for all logs. Small dimensions can be admitted if trunks are of high quality, with regular and straight shape, with low tapering and without big knots. The of hybrids walnut had a lot of small sound knots, probably depending on the genotype, but few open knots, while the common and black walnut trees had many more knots. Trees of this kind are not normally accepted by veneers industry, except at a very low prices. Tabu has however shown interest in the younger plantations if good quality is obtained through thinning, pruning and adequate growth of the trunks.
December 7th, 2019, Wale was invited by FIBOIS to make a presentation international wood flows of wood products, positioning and marketing.
Fibois Hauts-de-France is the professional association of the wood forest sector of the region Hauts-de-France. The structure brings together all the professionals of the sector: private and public forest owners, loggers, forest cooperatives, forestry experts, sawyers, carpenters, carpenters, wood builders, cabinetmakers, planners, paper manufacturers, packers, nurserymen ... and federate their representatives within the same regional network.
In that context, Wale presented December 7th, 2018 international flows, evolution concerning the needs concerning plantation.
During this meeting WALE presented a SWOTmatrix concerning wood products. This analysis helps to measure risks and rewards while also identifying the key factors related to accomplishing the stated objective. It was a great opportunity to work with this association and to present Woodnat project.
“France's timber industry association Le Commerce du Bois (LCB) was founded in 2000, bringing together companies specialising in timber and by-product
LCB encompasses several major professional groups within the sector; importers, including planed product manufacturers, timber merchants and agents. Its membership are the driving force of the French forestry and timber sectors, comprising a total of 160 companies, which, between them employ 4000 people and turnover €3 billion a year. They supply a wide range of products, from raw material from a variety of species and origins, to further processed products, such as planed timber, glulam, panels products and building solutions and systems. Their activities are certified to industry standards to ensure quality and service to the client.
The LCB's strategy has several key objectives. One is to promote a responsible procurement policy across the French industry through its environmental charter. This covers sales activities as well as purchase and has been compulsory for members since 2011.
After harvesting a tree plantation, it is neccessary to manage the stumps. This managment could be done by removing through heavy machinery, which is expensive and dealt with soil compaction problems, chemical using herbicides or, alternatively, stumps could be left to rot naturally thanks to the action of wood-decay fungi.
ECM is going to start the second stump degradation action in walnut plantations in the context of Woodnat Project, within the WP2. To carry out this action, ECM has prepared the mycelium material of Pleurotus ostreatus, Lentinula edodes and Trametes versicolor fungal species in the utilities of IDForest’ lab. This mycelium will be used to inoculate the stumps of 200 walnut trees, which are going to be harvested this week.
This action will be the last action planned by ECM in the WP2, in the task 2.3 (“Fungi identified to degradate stumps”) to assess the efficiency of stump degradation as a sustainable, natural and free-toxics method to manage the stumps in walnut plantations.
ECM hopes that the results are very positive and increase the economic profit of the walnut plantations, due to the additional value which can be obtained during mushroom seasons in spring and autumn.
In July 2017 the Research Centre for Forestry and Wood of CREA organized a meeting between some walnut growers and technicians and an important Italian veneer industry, TABU S.r.l.. Growers and technicians came mainly from the Provinces of Mantova and Cremona; they own many hectares of walnut plantations with different age and layouts; in many cases plantations needs thinning, the trees have good quality but at the moment the only market they can find is the firewood one! Thanks to previous collaborations, CREA contacted an important Italian industry that works veneers to organize a meeting: TABU s.r.l was founded in Cantù (Como) in 1927 with the aim to produce veneers of different wood species from all over the world; the company is particularly specialized in the veneer coloration process and today is able to obtain veneer in any color, according to virtually any request, and is an important reference point for Italian and European architects and designers. Currently Tabu is mostly interested in black walnut (Juglans nigra), mainly imported from United States; however, thanks to the possibility of coloring the veneers, they could also be interested in the common walnut wood.
During the meeting the growers and technicians proposed to Enrico Tagliabue, CEO of Tabu, to test their trees of 21-25 years coming from thinning; he accepted, even if the trees were smaller (diameter of 30-35 cm) if compared to trunks normally worked.
The meeting was an important moment for all those present; Tabu had the opportunity to evaluate the possibility to obtain local material, with low transport costs; for them it would also be a big advantage the possibility to plan and design new dedicated plantations to meet their, as they currently supply themselves almost exclusively from forests, with obvious difficulties and uncertainties of supply. The growers, for their part, have had the opportunity to get in touch with this company and with the possibilities created by their new processing technologies.
Finally both parts, thanks to the tests carried, could evaluate problems and strengths linked to the production and processing of common walnut wood grown in dedicated plantations
In the next news trials story and results!
Packaging is a large market for wooden products. Due to its small dimensions in comparison to applications for building, packaging is also a great opportunity for wooden product with small dimensions. This is the case for the outputs of Woodnat, as most of the material is produced using the logs of the thinning.
For this reason and as a conclusion of the first Period of Woodnat, Seistag decided to research in the field of packaging. As the Company is working on applications for wooden packaging, visiting EMPAC was necessary. This is the annual Fair of packaging and it was held in Madrid in November the 12th and 13th.
Seistag visited the encounter trying to recover information on two main issues. From one hand, an overview of the existing solutions for packaging based on wood. On the other hand, the opportunity to develop trials based on narrow veneer sheets from European Walnut.
Regarding the use of wood for packaging, most of the solutions presented at the Fair refer to technical packaging for heavy loads (such as DS Smith and NEFAB) or specific solutions for pallets (including wooden PLS and FASTFIX) and for handling loads (CORFEX). None of those examples are worth for the specific opportunity of Woodnat material.
The interest on wooden solutions for packaging was clear as PEFC presented its own stand in the Fair. The environmental issue is a major topic for many customers. Therefore, innovative packaging materials based on natural materials such as corn, sugar or even stone are welcome to the market. In this case, the value proposal of Woodnat is relevant due to the high level of environmental awareness of the productive process of Hybrids of European Walnut.
The Fair was also an opportunity to test different solutions for machining walnut veneer. The technology tested was laser cutting, die cutting and drilling. It was
relevant the use of creases and mixed solutions based on the combination of technologies. The machinery tested included relevant technologies such as those provided by ZUNG and
On 2018 November the 20th, an important meeting regarding H2020 was hold in Toledo (Spain). The meeting took place at the Toledo Congress Hall, a modern building in the heart of the historic city.
It was the tenth Conference of the Framework program for Research and Innovation of the European Union in Spain. An event organized by the European Union and the Spanish CDTI with the collaboration of the Regional Government. A Conference where the major actors of the Spanish R&D met.
The Spanish Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities opened the meeting in which the most relevant Spanish participations in H2020 Projects were presented. Due to the interest of Woodnat Project, Woodnat was included among the Projects presented at the meeting.
The presentation of Woodnat Project included a Poster explaining the main objectives and challenges of the consortium which include plants, trees and wood. The poster cached the attention of the audience due to be directly printed on European Walnut wood.
Seistag designed the poster. Later, it was printed over a plywood board that has been veneered by Losan. This Company also produced the veneer by means of slicing Hybrid Walnut logs provided by Bosques Naturales. Thanks to this, the display offered information but also access to a final product, veneered boards, that has been developed by means of Woodnat.
The objective of the Conference was to analyse the participation of Spain in Horizon 2020 in order to draw conclusions that allow Spanish entities to improve their
participation in the calls for proposals of the last years of the Program. During the Conference, the novelties implemented in the pilot of the European Innovation Council (EIC) were reviewed to
bring the research closer to the market. In addition to this, the proposal of the European Commission (EC) for the future Framework Program (Horizon Europe) was presented and analysed.
On 2018 October the 19th, Woodnat was present at “Reformas”. This is a Fair focused on efficient construction, sustainable landscaping, and trend interior design.
The encounter was hold in A Coruña (Spain) and it happened at the same time that Woodnat Project was presented at CIRAD facilities in Montpellier (France).
In order to take part in this meeting, Seistag provided material and designs to Puertas Betanzos. This is a local SME focused on innovative and trendy materials for interior design. They are strategical stakeolders for the development of some products at Woodnat as they collaborate with Seistag in the implementation of the Project.
The role of Puertas Betanzos refers to transforming boards into furniture. Considering that background, they presented within Reformas Fair the first prototypes of furniture made using mixed species boards. The design presented combined clear Walnut with dark Oak.
Once the Fair was finished, the prototype elaborated for the occasion was moved to the exhibition of products that the company offers to the public in A Coruña. The
collection will be completed in the next weeks with new models of furniture and applications to be published in this Website.