The research project EUROPARQUET is related to the sector of industry producing wood flooring elements and parquet and involves also related sectors, in particular adhesive and coating industry.
EUROPARQUET is aiming at defining reliable methodologies for quality assessment of wood flooring elements. It addresses three thematic fields which are closely related to each other: surface quality, climate resistance, and bonding quality of multilayer flooring elements.
In the EUROPARQUET project, improvements of existing methodologies and developments of new methods will be carried out by intensive methodological investigations. The developed methods will be described and validated by the RTO partners (HFA and IHD). This will be done by comparison of laboratory test results and results of field tests. Inter-laboratory comparison tests (Round Robin Tests) aiming at the assessment of repeatability and reproducibility, which is a prerequisite for European standardization, will be organised with the involvement of industry partners from the international User Committee. This project will establish a unique international platform of the European parquet industry by the involvement of the project consortium and the User Committee on a pre-competitive basis. It combines not only the Associations and leading RTOs in the field of wood technology in Germany and Austria (core consortium) but involves actively also the European Federation of Parquet Industry (FEP) with its Technical Committee and individual companies from parquet industry, coating industry and adhesive industry in the User Committee.
On 1st February 2014, the European Cornet Project EUROPARQUET started officially. The goal of the project is development of test methods for oiled and waxed wooden parquets, regarding three main areas of interest: Surface Quality, Bonding Quality and Dimensional Stability. Those three aspects are addressed separately within Work Packages A, B and C.
At the end of the EUROPARQUET project, clear proposals for European standardisation are aimed for.
The research within the project is conducted together by Austrian Wood Institute HFA (Holzforschung Austria) and German Institute of Wood Technology IHD (Institut für Holztechnologie Dresden).
The first meeting of the EUROPARQUET User Committee found place in Dresden at one of the research partners’, IHD. After presentation of the single scopes, the participants chose the Work Packages they wish to participate in.
In November, the EUROPARQUET Participants met in Vienna. In the Ad-Hoc Groups, specific matters of each of the Work Packages were discussed. On the second day of the meeting, the complete User Committee was informed about the most important decisions of the single Ad-Hoc Groups. The testing parameters as well as some tested materials have been chosen within the project consortium, regarding special wishes of the industry.
The third project meeting found place in Dresden at IHD. Members of the User Committee were informed about the current results within the Work Packages. In vivid and fruitful discussions, further test parameters were agreed on. Also, the Round Robin Tests for each Work Package were organised.
The meeting in Vienna gave the User Committee (UC) the insight into the current project results and the possibility to discuss the final steps.
For the Work Package A, Surface Quality, proposals for new or modified tests methods and classification schemes were presented and are currently in the validation phase by the UC members. The issue of new definitions is going into the final phase.
Also in the Work Package B, Bonding Quality, the final tests are being conducted, partly together with the members of the UC (e.g. Round Robin Tests, comparisons between laboratory tests and Factory Production Control).
Climate Resistance tests and corresponding mathematical models, investigated in frame of the Work Package C, are currently being compared and validated. In order to verify the suitability and selectiveness of the methods stress tests with selected conditions are being conducted.
In the final Meeting, the overall results of each of the Work Packages were presented and final decisions were taken.
Regarding WP-A: Surface Quality, following documents will be issued as a direct result of the project:
In the future, a Requirement Profile for non-film-forming coatings for wood floorings will be published taking into consideration
the properties listed above.
Regarding WP-B: Bonding quality, the developed methods (also in form of IHD-Werknorm/HFA-SOP) are able to identify adhesive failure and to discriminate between good and bad product quality.
In the frame of WP-C: Dimensional Stability, a numerical model was developed, allowing prediction of changes of deformations, stresses, moisture contents due to different climatic conditions, for parquet lay-ups (number of layers, layer thicknesses, material orientations, ...), and wood species . This model corresponds well with the results obtained in large climate chamber tests, which also were found to be a suitable tool to assess the dimensional behaviour of floors. The method shows good repeatability and can differentiate well between products. A small scale test stress test was also developed and can be used as a screening and indicative pre-selection tool.
The next steps are finalizing the project documentation and disseminating the results to/among the interested parties. In frame of WP-D: Dissemination, various publications, lectures and tutorials at technical schools are planned. Also, the standardization committees will be informed about the results of EUROPARQUET.
The RTOs HFA and IHD would like to thank all the industrial participants of the project for providing the material, eagerly taking part in various RRTs, providing helpful feedback, joining the Meetings, fruitful discussions and new ideas. Financial support from the funding agencies AiF and FFG in the frame of CORNET and from the European Federation of Parquet Industry (FEP) and participating companies is appreciated.