Wood is a fiber composite material which exhibits structure at many different length scales. Many properties of wood, such as its excellent mechanical properties, are attributed to this hierarchical structure. Wood is also an abundant renewable resource. A focus of current research is thus to develop new material concepts from wood, yielding bio-based materials and products with improved properties or even new functionality. Examples of possible applications range from textiles and personal care products, via fire-retardant insulation materials and cellulose-based 3D printing, to smart window panes and electronics applications.

MAX IV will facilitate these research developments together with academic and industrial partners through the ForMAX project, a versatile instrument dedicated to structural characterization from macroscopic to atomic length scales by combining full-field tomographic imaging with small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS). The high-performance x-ray beam at ForMAX will be complemented by several dedicated sample environments, and we foresee studies ranging, e.g., from in-situ pulp processing to structural characterization of nanocellulose-based advanced materials.

The construction of the ForMAX beamline is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, while the operation costs will be covered by the forest industry via Treesearch - a national platform for research on new materials and speciality chemicals from forest raw material.

Techniques Full-field tomography, SAXS/WAXS, and scanning SAXS/WAXS imaging.
Beam Size 10 μm to 1.5 mm at the sample, depending on mode of operation.
Energy Range 8-25 keV
Time Scales ms to hours, depending on mode of operation.
Samples Hierarchical materials; wood-based materials, soft matter.


First installations at ForMAX

ForMAX, the phase III beamline combining x-ray microtomography with small- and wide-angle x-ray scattering for multiscale structural characterization of hierarchical materials, is progressing. The first major installation at ForMAX, the radiation safety hutches delivered by Innospec Prüfsystem GmbH (Dreseden, Germany), has been taking place during the last two weeks. The purpose of the radiation safety