European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Woodoo Augmented Wood - transforming wood into construction material strong as concrete and translucent as amber

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Woodoo (Woodoo Augmented Wood - transforming wood into construction material strong as concrete and translucent as amber)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-08-31

• What is the problem/issue being addressed?
Construction materials are running out. Shortage of raw materials is flanked by price increase. Steel prices rose 100% in 2017. There is a global shortage of construction sand, while its demand has been growing since 2012 up to 24% in the US alone. The global urbanisation boom will exacerbate the supply and price of all building materials. The scenario is unsustainable as the construction industry produces more CO2 annually than all cars. Steel creates 5% of greenhouse gas emissions, and concrete 5.5%. Construction uses 14-20% of a building's lifetime energy.

• Why is it important for society?
The issue is global: only in Europe the sector must cut emissions by 50% by 2050 to meet EU targets. Clean energy can only help so much. An alternative is looking for new materials.

• What are the overall objectives?
Wood is sustainable and traps carbon, but intrinsic weaknesses limit its use: it can rot, burn and break when thin. Wooden buildings can only reach 18 storeys. Exotic woods are expensive and harvested destructively.
The goal of Woodoo’s breakthrough technology creates augmented wood, a new construction product that is: (1) Abundant: Wood grows everywhere and regenerates. Cheap local timber can be transformed into high-performing Woodoo wood. (2) Sustainable: Woodoo wood is 100% recyclable, twice as energy efficient as concrete and 130 times as steel. It stores 1 tonne of CO2 per m3, instead of emitting it. (3) Strong and moldable: Woodoo wood panels can be bent into any shape without breakage, and used like touchscreens when connected to electronics. Large treated beams can replace rebar and steel to build massive wooden constructions with low environmental footprint.
Woodoo identified the car industry as the gateway to get Woodoo’s product access to the market. Indeed, the car industry and the retail are looking for new materials and technologies to improve user experience, while decreasing weight and emissions.
Presently, Woodoo has developed an auto interior part (a dashboard) using augmented wood technology. The dashboard is enhanced by smart surfaces that support user interface interactions.

The whole process required to:

1- Secure top level auto industry partners,
2- Produce demonstration item,
3- Establish production process and supply chain for pre-series run,
4- Launch product at auto shows;
Woodoo proved to be a superior alternative material. While it provides outstanding, unpaired physical and mechanical properties, Woodoo’s technology enhances user experiences with innovative smart surfaces. Last but not least its aesthetic appearance makes Woodoo an ideal material for luxury products too.
The socio-economic impact and societal implications of Woodoo are huge: a new sustainable construction material is available to re-design our environment.