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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

A product semantic study of the influence of the sense of touch on the evaluation of wood-based materials

Lindberg, Siv; Roos, Anders; Kihlstedt, Annika; Lindström, Mikael


Based on product semantics, this study investigated how the tactile attributes of wood and wood-based composites are perceived and interpreted semantically. The wood-based samples included ash, birch, elm, oak, pine, OSB (oriented strand board), two wood pulp-reinforced polylactide composites, Comp A and B and one wood-fiber reinforced polypropene composite, Comp C. The subjects rated the samples by the descriptive words natural, exclusive, eco-friendly, rough, inexpensive, reliable, warm, modern, snug and solid. The most significant differences between the samples were found for roughness and for the descriptors, reliable, natural and solid. A principal component analysis yielded three attributes based on the tactile perceptions: reliable, old-fashioned and smooth. The solid wood pieces were perceived as natural and oak was perceived as being exclusive. The composite materials presented a greater variation in terms of perceived attributes than the wood specimens. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Wood design; Consumer study; Perceptions; Sensory analysis

Published in

Materials and Design
2013, volume: 52, pages: 300-307

Authors' information

Lindberg, Siv
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Products
Kihlstedt, Annika
Lindström, Mikael

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Materials Engineering
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology

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