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Lightweight wood construction, back to the future in the mobility industry

Wood and lightweight construction in the mobility industry, at first glance a contradiction in terms. If you look far into the past… The first cars and trains were mostly made of wood. Today, wood is only known in the decorative area, where wood is applied as a wafer-thin layer, e.g. to consoles. Holzcluster Steiermark, W.E.I.Z. and ACstyria came up with an exciting idea…


Source: Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH

…to bring wood back into the automotive industry in lightweight construction. As you can imagine, the idea was viewed very critically at the beginning. “How can you always deliver reliable, consistent performance parameters with a natural substance?” was just one of the typical questions. A committed team with scientific participation (BOKU Vienna, TU Graz and K2 Center) got down to work as part of the WoodC.A.R. to prove that wood as a side impact component is absolutely equal to conventional materials. In addition, wood is a renewable raw material that is also obtained in green Styria, means a regional product through and through.

I know the project since June 2021, where there was proof that it works! The follow-up project CARpenTiER is now bringing the scientific knowledge to the economy, and it is heading towards series production. New players are on board such as Volkswagen, LEAN MC and IB Steiner. The project has been very successful so far…


Source: Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH

DI Christian Tippelreither, MBA, the managing director of Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH and his team are tirelessly at work to make further ideas a reality, where wood is definitely of great benefit to the mobility industry. These projects include the wooden bus staircase, which results in a weight saving of up to 35%.

I am very excited to see what the coming years will bring! I’m sure soon we’ll have wood back in production vehicles, in areas that have had metal parts for a very long time…

Would you like to find out more? Then simply get in touch (Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH, +43 316 587850 214 , tippelreither@holzcluster-steiermark.at).