Highly densified and extremely hard wood

True alternatives to tropical hardwoods and plastics

30 September 2021

Tropical wood species have always been valued for their properties such as hardness, density, durability or their special texture and color for certain applications. However, their use repeatedly comes under criticism due to long transport routes, the destruction of rainforests and non-sustainable forestry. The Swiss company Swiss Wood Solutions is working on modifying domestic solid wood and veneer so that it becomes a true high-performance material, in some cases surpassing the properties of tropical woods. The material is able to replace plastic in everyday’s items and thus contributes to decrease in CO2-emissions.

High abrasion resistance

Through a patented thermo-mechanical treatment, regionally available woods from sustainable forest such as maple, beech, spruce, oak, walnut or cherry are extremely compressed and thus obtain a degree of hardness that is three to four times higher than in their raw state. Also, the natural ability to swell and shrink is minimized. This makes it possible, for example, to use them as Sonowood in the manufacture of musical instruments, where very special sound properties are required, as well as high abrasion resistance (fingerboard of a guitar).

Bijouwood, originating from the same sources and produced with the same philosophy as Sonowood is an even more technologically enhanced and aesthetically appealing wood material. Bijouwood is highly dense (1’300-1’400 kg/m3), extremely hard (Brinell hardness > 100 N/mm2), dimensionally stable as well as scratch – and abrasion-resistant. These characteristics open doors to high-precision applications, in which normally only metal parts can be used.

Sensoveneer features extremely thin veneer material, which is scratch resistant, is translucent and above all, can be used as touch sensitive surface. The range of applications extends from interior design to furniture applications and the design of car interiors.

Another example is the most recent development, the Swiss Wood Cards, a card for the payment and non-payment sector that is no longer made of plastic and yet has very high flexibility and durability. With this, a biodegradable and CO2-saving alternative is offered to the global card industry with an estimated volume of 37 billon cards annually.

Swiss Wood Solutions AG is a business and technology incubator for sustainable, wood-based products. New business models, technologies and products are developed to the required level of maturity and then spun off into specialized subsidiaries.

In a nutshell: with their innovative and pioneering solutions, the team of Swiss Wood Solutions contributes to the preservation of our native tree populations, endangered rainforests and the reduction of environmentally harmful plastics in everyday products. Further information can by seeked at:


image: Debit card from densified wood (source: Swiss Wood Solutions)