Transnational Accesses

SilviScan - efficient instrument for detailed characterization of wood and fibre properties

Technical information Practicalities TA feedback

The TNA holder has indicated that this infrastructure would remain accessible also after the Trees4Future end-of-project, however the applicant would have to bear costs.

Potential users are  invited to enquire directly with the site manager for agreement on accessibility and related costs.

Type of facility: Equipment

Keywords: characterization, properties, wood, fibres, vessels, annual rings, X-ray absorption, X-ray diffraction, NIRS, genetics, climate change, modelling, tree breeding, silviculture, wood technology, wood properties, wood physical properties, wood anatomy, near-infrared spectroscopy

Who would find this useful? Research and development related to: tree improvement; genetics; wood formation; effects of climate change; forest management; raw material allocation; sawmilling and woodworking; treatments and processing of wood; pulp and paper; bioenergy; biorefinery; green chemistry; selection of trees to plant for specific products, in various environments and for rural development.

""The visit at Innventia gave me a great opportunity to learn new techniques for wood structure analysis and meet highly professional and enthusiastic scientists."

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About the facility: A measurement system integrating three measurement principles for efficient characterization of many wood and fibre properties from the same wood sample:

  • microdensitometry
  • image analyses of fibres and vessels
  • diffractometry for orientations in wood

Provides data on radial variations from pith to bark, starting with increment cores or wood discs, or from battens from mechanical testing, boards, etc.

  • · wood density, fibre width (radially and tangentially), wall thickness, etc., with a radial resolution of 25 micrometers for softwoods
  • · radial variations in microfibril angle and wood stiffness; spiral grain under development
  • · for hardwoods also radial variations in numbers and dimensions of vessels
  • · widths of annual rings, as well as their parts of earlywood and latewood
  • property averages for each ring and its parts, numbers of cells formed and other features

Experiences from use in a wide spectrum of fields in research and development.

SilviScan is an efficient system for detailed characterization of many wood and fibre properties from the same wood sample; and for hardwoods the system is also used to determine vessel characteristics. Pith to bark variations may be assessed for wood density and stiffness, microfibril angle, fibre width, wall thickness and coarseness, number and sizes of vessels (for hardwoods) and many properties possible to calculate from these data. Annual rings and their earlywood and latewood parts may be identified and property averages, number of cells and other features can be calculated for each ring and part.


SilviScan data from measurements on a softwood sample with 32 annual rings from pith to barkSilviScan data from measurements on a softwood sample with 32 annual rings from pith to bark. Property variations related to distance from the pith are illustrated with wood density, fibre width and wall thickness, microfibril angle and wood stiffness. Data on annual rings are illustrated with the widths and latewood contents of the rings, as well as the average densities of the rings and their parts of earlywood and latewood. Image: Innventia.

What does the TA programme offer? A unit of user access typically includes a 5-day visit to Innventia. Before access, the measurements will be carefully planned in cooperation between the user and Innventia. A researcher of the accessing partner may then be trained in the preparation of samples on the dedicated equipment at Innventia, prepare samples and get insight into the measurement methods and interpretation of data. The measurements, compilation of data and images and evaluation of these will be performed by Innventia experts, due to the delicacy of the operations.

Due to time lags involved in pre-treatment and conditioning of samples before measurements, the full chain from sample preparation to measurement to ready data can seldom be executed within one week; however, the visiting researcher will, while working with his/her own samples, see all steps of work being done on samples from other projects being worked upon.

During the visit, there will be time to further discuss interpretation and possibilities with the data as well as suitable data formats for the continued evaluations performed by the user. The data will be delivered to the user in due time after the visit.

  • A broad spectrum of properties analysed from the same sample of wood. Detailed information may be provided about a large number of properties of wood and fibres, for broadleaf species also for vessels, including radial variations. For softwood species, most properties may be measured with a radial resolution of 25 µm, the annual rings and their parts of earlywood and latewood vessels may be identified and property averages can be calculated for the rings and their parts. For hardwood species, with more complex cell structures due to the presence of vessels and with less clearly visible ring structure, resolutions and possibilities to detect rings have to be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
  • High efficiency for larger and more representative data sets. The SilviScan is built for high capacity measurement of qualified properties, in order to allow measurement of large enough sets of samples for good representativity. For many of the properties, the SilviScan technology is 10-500 times more efficient than traditional laboratory methods.
  • Additional input based on wide experience from wood characterisation. The team at Innventia has been engaged in a large number of projects involving the characterisation of different wood species worldwide and the preparation of data for different purposes. Discussions may open up for new ideas in evaluations as well as for future partnerships.

More information

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Technical information about the facility

Contact details/practical information

SilviScan presentation

Example data sheets containing measurements for different species; Birch (Betula); Norway spruce (Picea abies) slow-grown; Norway spruce (Picea abies) fast-grown; maritime pine (Pinus pinaster); Eucalyptus urograndis.

Visit the Innventia website: Wood and Fibre Measurement Centre; Forest and Trees