To sign up for this cluster, use Bison code L.27369.
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This cluster consists of the following projects:

Residue analysis on archaeological excavated wooden finds

Your knowledge, experience and ingenuity is needed in carrying out this project. The way in which you complete this assignment is still open, but the project goal is fixed. The goal is to use residue analysis to determine  what has been transported in wooden medieval barrels. The results of the project will be used in a PhD research “From barrels and casks to trade networks” which is executed by Jeroen Oosterbaan (Archaeology, Saxion University of Applied Sciences) and is supervised by Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. In this research, barrels and casks are examined from an archaeological context. This find category can be compared to modern cans, because it was used as a packaging material to transport and preserve foods, drinks and other materials. Thorough research into this packing material will result in detailed information about trade networks. The find location will provide insight into the distribution of the relevant trade network, the dendrochonological dating will provide insight into the period that the trade network functioned. In addition, the marks on the barrels and casks, the content or owner can be determined. The PhD research will therefore examine the life cycle the barrels and casks have gone through. An essential step in the research process is determining the primary cargo of the barrels and casks. This allows the excavated packaging material to be linked to a specific product and thus a specific trade network. This is the challenge of this triple S project: can you determine what has been transported in the packaging material using residue analysis? The first step consists of determining a research strategy: What methods of residue analysis are available (for example eDNA), what are the advantages and disadvantages of these methods, which is best suited for this research? The next phase consists of actually performing the residu analyses.  Because of the costs and the potentially pioneering research methods, the research is conducted in phases. The first step consists of analyzing samples of modern barrels of which the cargo is known. This will provide insight into the feasibility of the residue analysis methods. After this, the degree of difficulty can be increased using samples from archaeological excavated packaging material.

Biological fire retardants in combination with a fungal biofinish for wood protection

In this interdisciplinary project, new technologies for the protection of wood for outdoor applications on buildings will be further developed. One of the biggest challenges for innovative and biobased building materials and coatings, is to determine and maintain fire resistant material properties. In this project, possibilities exist to study biological fire retardants for the protection of wood and the interaction with the components of the biofinish coating, e.g. the fungus or linseed oil. Wood is treated with a protective and decorative coating based on linseed oil and the fungus Aureobasidium (called biofinish). This technology allows the use of sustainable wood without the need of harmful substances, like biocides, creating a biobased and circular building material. The fire resistant properties of materials used in buildings and constructions are very important. Since this wood treatment is relatively new, only little information is available about its potential fire resistance. Initial tests showed e.g. a huge potential to protect biobased building materials against fire. When choosing this project, you will work with experienced researchers conducting desk research and engage in laboratory activities.

SRMC – Smart Responsive Microbial Coatings for protecting wood

In 2016 Xylotrade has introduced a Smart Responsive Microbial Coating (SRMC) on the market based on the naturally ocurring fungus Aureobasidium. Impregnated with lineseed oil and treated with this coating, wood is protected for many decades. Xylotrade has implemented this novel wood product already in about 40 to 50 projects. At this moment the wood products are treated in direct sunlight (natural UV) which results in a durable coating in a time frame ranging from a number of hours up to a number of days. However, variable weather conditions and limited space, leads to longer periods of time to get the coating dried and attached. As this is less controlled, the quality of attachment also varies, which can result in partial or complete removal of the SRMC when exposed to heavy rainfall or snow. This directly affects the protection of the wood and leads to expensive repair or replacement activities. Furthermore the functionality of the SRMC is affected by the drying process, as the production of chlamydospores and extracellular polymer material depends on temperature and UV radiation. It is also not known if compounds present in the air (fine dust, or VOCs) play a significant role in this attachment process. Objective of this project is to research the mechanism of attachment of the SRMC on wood and determine the factors that influence this, with the ultimate goal to develop a method to improve the attachment procedure.

Smart TinyLab – Vapor permeable insulation for wood skeleton facades

Buildings breathe! Literally. There are analogies between buildings and the functions of the human body. The human breath makes sure our body is supplied with sufficient oxygen, whilst at the same time exhaling excess carbon dioxide. Simultaneously, we exhale water vapor which nicely shows as white clouds during cold and dry winter days. The respiratory exchange of water vapor fullfills specific functions. For example, exhaling water vapor supports our body to stabilize its core temperature by providing evaporative cooling. Buildings work similar. They need to be ventilated, heated and cooled the same way as the human body. Hereby is the exchange of moisture across the building façade also referred to as building skin, between the interior and exterior of specific concern. That is the presence of condensed water in between the façade layers generates the risk to damage the construction. Specifically wooden facades are sensitive to condensed water vapor as the load bearing capacity of wood can be weakened by the impact of mold grow in and on wooden beams. In this project you are given the chance to work with one of our partner companies, De Groot Vroomshoop, to determine the characteristics of two types of wood skeleton facades systems , one being open and one being closed for the diffusion of water vapor. You will make use of our new innovative lab facility the Smart TinyLab. As part of the project you will conduct a literature review, plan and execute an measurement experiment, analyze the obtained data and report your findings to our partner.

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Questions about this cluster?

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