Please wait...

Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Research  / Research Emphasis Areas  / Advanced Composites  / Research Highlights

34 Research Highlights - Advanced Composites

Publication Year: 2018
Laboratory subterranean termite test (Coptotermes curvignathus Holmgren) with five wood-plastic composites blends and untreated pine wood. Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
Highlight ID: 1304
Termite Resistance of Wood–Plastic Composites

Wood-plastic composite (WPC) specimens were exposed to termites both in the laboratory and the field in Bogor, Indonesia. On a scale of 0 (complete failure) to 10 (sound), after 30 months field exposure, the WPC made with acetylated wood flour had no ...
(Left) X-ray computed tomography (XCT) volume reconstructions of BrPF resins in bondlines. (right) X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) Br maps of transverse sections cut from BrPF bondlines. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1311
X-Ray Methods to Observe and Quantify Adhesive Penetration into Wood

To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, researchers are working to understand the optimal adhesive penetration into wood for specific products and applications. ...
Publication Year: 2017
Uniaxial strains (?y) and stiffnesses (Q) for two paperboard specimens. Horizontal gray lines represent median failure location.
Highlight ID: 1283
Local stiffness variation of paperboard examined in uniaxial tension

Small regions of heterogeneity in paper stiffness can provide places for sheets to fail. Forest Service researchers are the first to develop methods for measuring local stiffness of paper. ...
Wood products made with soy adhesives, except for the bottom product which was made with a casein adhesive. From top to bottom: decorative plywood, hardboard, medium density fiberboard, particleboard, oriented strandboard, engineered wood flooring, and glulam.
Highlight ID: 1269
Soy adhesives resolve two problems at once

Lower formaldehyde emission bonded wood products can be made using plant-based adhesives through an industry-government partnership. ...
Publication Year: 2016
Blown film extrusion of completely biobased poly(lactic acid) and cellulose nanocrystal polymer composites.  Sonal Karkhanis and Anna Kace Marra, Michigan State University.
Highlight ID: 654
FPL<>Renewable, Biodegradable Polylactic Acid-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites for Packaging Applications

Packaging research conducted at the Forest Products Laboratory is aimed at developing fully biobased composites containing cellulose nanomaterials for packaging applications. Cellulose nanomaterials exhibit a number of interesting properties and have ...
Schematic illustration of the capillary photoelectrochemical water splitting process. Tivoli C. Gough, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 651
Highly-Efficient Capillary Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Using Cellulose Nanofiber-Templated TiO2 Photoanodes

Among current endeavors to explore renewable energy technologies, photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting holds great promise for conversion of solar energy to chemical energy. Light absorption, charge separation, and appropriate interfacial redox ...
Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers who performed small angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments to study the effects of chemical modifications and moisture on the wood nanostructure at the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor Bio-SANS beamline. From left to right, Joseph Jakes (FPL), Nayomi Plaza (FPL), Shou Qian (ORNL), and Venky Pingali (ORNL). Joseph Jakes, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 664
Improving Moisture Durability of Forest Products Using Small-angle Neutron Scattering

Moisture is the underlying cause of numerous durability issues in forest products, including decay, lack of dimensional stability, and fastener corrosion. An improved understanding of where and how water is absorbed in wood nanostructure will acceler ...
The details of how a wood veneer is cut dramatically effects surface quality. These pictures show bits of wood (white) torn off veneers that were cut at different temperatures. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University.
Highlight ID: 661
New Test of Raw Material Quality Improves the Strength of Wood Laminates

Plywood and laminated veneer lumber are built from wood veneers. Because the test for surface quality of the veneer was not very useful, Forest Service scientists developed a quick, easy method that tells us how to determine what veneers will make st ...
Researchers are studying soy-based adhesives for wood products. Steve Schmeiding, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 666
Using Soybeans to Replace Synthetic Adhesives for Wood Bonding

Soybeans were used to glue the first plywood but were replaced by fossil-fuel-based adhesives after World War II. Scientists at the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory have helped soy adhesives return to plywood and are helping to find more a ...
Publication Year: 2014
Tactical shelter door made using 3D engineered fiberboard made from laminated paper. John Hunt, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 582
3D Engineered Panels from Laminated Paper Composites have Broad Potential

Forest Service researchers are studying the use of high-strength laminated paper composite material as a low-cost replacement for aluminum and synthetic fiber-based composite panels for a variety of applications. Through proper three-dimensional engi ...
Publication Year: 2013
Transmission electron microscope image of cellulose nanocrystals. Robert Moon, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 449
Ceramic-Like Thermal Expansion Obtained from Cellulose Nanocrystal Films

One of the unique properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are their low dimensional change with changes in temperature. Understanding the role and mechanism associated with thermal expansion within CNCs and CNC composites is important to a variety ...
FPL researchers developed a new method for producing a suitable component of bioplastics from glucose, which can be derived from wood and other forms of biomass. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 437
Enzyme Combo Results in Bioplastics Composite

Developing bioplastics as a means of moving away from non-renewable, petroleum-based products has many economic and environmental benefits. Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory recently developed a new way to produce furylglycolic acid (FA), ...
Continuous fiber spun from nanocellulose and other polymers and additives. Craig Clemons, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 443
Nanocellulose Gels Spun Into Continuous Fibers for Use in Advanced Composites

Forest Service scientists worked with the University of Wisconsin to spin nanocellulose gels into continuous fibers so that they can be used more efficiently in advanced composites. The researchers are optimizing the spinning process and investigatin ...
Solar cells fabricated on cellulose nanocrystal films open the door for truly recyclable solar cell technology. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 447
New Process Fabricates Efficient Reclyclable Solar Cells Using Natural Substrates

Solar cells fabricated on optically transparent cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) films reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. Additionally, these solar cell ...
The 100% sustainable stage set for the 20th Century Fox show “Raising Hope.” John Zachary, 20th Century Fox
Highlight ID: 451
Panels Made from Wood and Recycled Fibers Go To Hollywood and Around the World

The Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory is moving sustainable structural panel forming technology from the laboratory to commercial reality. The laboratory is working with Noble Environment Technologies of San Diego through a cooperative rese ...
The only difference between these plywood samples is the direction of cracks in the wood, which obviously affected the adhesive-performance (right image) test results. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University
Highlight ID: 435
Success of Wood Veneers Influenced by Harvesting Season and Temperature: Plywood Performance and Failure: A New Understanding

Cooperation with Finnish researchers results in new understanding of relationships between veneer processing, veneer properties, and product failure. ...
Beetle-killed lodgepole pine fiber treated with potassium methyl siliconate. Cheng Piao, Louisiana State University
Highlight ID: 453
Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Fiber Pre-Treatment

Scientists determine the dimensional stability of wood-plastic composites can be improved by treating wood sawdust and particles derived from beetle-killed trees with potassium methyl siliconate before incorporating the wood into high-density polyeth ...
Publication Year: 2012
Adhesive test with low-quality veneer.  Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1
Do Not Blame Adhesives When Veneers Are Guilty

Perfectly good adhesives may be wrongly discarded after failing a performance test when in actuality the veneer caused the failure. ...
Bio-based boards have many applications and are produced from renewable sources including forest thinnings and recycled paper fibers. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 28
Partnership Produces 3D (3-Dimensional) Engineered Fiberboard Panels

Naturally bonded boards can use fibers produced from a variety of renewable sources including wood from forest thinnings and recycled paper fibers ...
Fire retardant treatments can reduce the contribution of wood-plastic composites to a fire. Craig Clemons, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 6
Wood-Plastic Composites Are More Desirable With Fire Retardant Treatments

Wood-plastic composites treated with fire retardants addresses fire concerns in the wildland-urban interface ...
Hollow glass microspheres in wood-plastic composites.  Rebecca Wallace, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 12
Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Glass

Adding microsized glass particles to wood-plastic composites creates a less dense but stiffer material for use in a variety of building applications ...
Publication Year: 2011
Surface color of modified (B, C, D) and unmodified (A) western red cedar before (0 h) and after (720 h) of artificial weathering in a WeatherOmeter. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 305
Lumen filling and sol-gel reinforcement of the wood cell wall

FPL researchers used a two-prong strategy to enhance weathering properties of wood. This dual treatment showed promise in protecting wood against the combined effects of sunlight and moisture. ...
Typical aspen slash wood (left) and flakes (right) sliced from the slash wood. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 307
Producing Value-Added Composite Panels from Aspen Slash Wood

The disposal of forest thinning residue is a concern when looking at sustainable forest management. Researchers found this material could be a valuable resource for commercially available structural panel products. ...
Bonded wood panel products made with soy adhesives. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 309
Soy-based Adhesives for Wood Products

Soy-based adhesives developed at FPL have been commercialized and allow wood manufacturers to replace adhesives based on fossil fuel with biomass-based adhesives. ...
Panels made of recycled fiber and based on FPL research are being commercialized. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 322
Technology Transfer in Action

FPL-developed panels made from forest residuals, recycled fiber, and agricultural by-products are being commercialized by two start-up companies. ...
Publication Year: 2010
Effects of Press Sizes on Internal Steam Pressure during Particleboard Hot-Pressing Process. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 163
Effects of Press Sizes on Internal Steam Pressure during Particleboard Hot-Pressing Process

Internal steam pressure produced during the hot-pressing cycle in particleboard production is critical to the newly developed bond strength that will determine the overall performance of particleboard. The difference between the accumulation of inter ...
The figure shows two-dimensional NMR spectra of control (unreacted) loblolly pine and loblolly pine that has been reacted with a model compound of pMDI adhesive. The labels A, B, and C (and α, β, γ positions) relate to the chemical structures at the bottom of the figure. The contours labeled with a subscript r show reacted wood cell wall polymers. The reactivity of the lignin sidechains clearly dominates over all other wood cell wall polymers. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 173
Elucidating Covalent Bond Formation and Cleavage in Wood

Working with a group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Biochemistry, FPL researchers have discovered mechanistic details behind some long-standing theories of wood adhesion and brown-rot fungal decay. Firstly, solution-state nucle ...
Oxygen index test of a wood-plastic composite. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 161
Evaluation of Various Fire Retardants for Use in Wood Flour/Polyethylene Composites

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) represent a class of materials increasingly used in residential construction and furniture-making. The fire performance of WPCs is not well understood, however, and there is little information regarding the effectivenes ...
Fabrication of recycled fiber. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 165
Fabrication Utilization of Recycled Fiber/Agricultural Fiber Panels and Exhibit

The Forest Products Laboratory's research using anaerobically digested agricultural waste fibers combined with recycled paper fibers to make structural panels was selected by a prominent design firm for use as the main fabrication material for the Su ...

Highlight ID: 160
Improved Composites from Wood Flour and Mixed Plastics

In a cooperative project with Louisiana State University, Forest Products Laboratory researchers have used crosslinking technologies, commonly used in the cable coating industry, to optimize the performance of composites of mixed plastics and wood fl ...

Highlight ID: 174
Increasing the Value of Slash by Use in Oriented Strand Board

The project takes a closer look at chunkwood processing first developed in 1977 at the Northern Research Station lab in Houghton, MI. Branches and tree tops as small as 2 inch diameter are cut to 5 inch length, debarked, sliced into veneer chips and ...

Highlight ID: 164
Particleboard Panels Manufactured from Rice Straws of Different Geometries

Faced with worldwide shortages of forest resources, environmental pollution and waste of biological resources resulting from field burning of rice straw and other agriculture residues, there has been a revival of interest in using rice straw and othe ...

Highlight ID: 190
Sol-gel technology to enhance performance properties of wood or wood fiber

With support from industry partners, FPL researchers are developing new sol-gel technologies to enhance performance properties of wood or wood fiber. Sol-gel technologies are wet-chemical techniques that are widely used in the fields of materials sci ...

Highlight ID: 172
Soy-Based Adhesives Provide Wood Composites That Meet California Emission Standards

Ashland- Hercules, working cooperatively with the Forest Products Laboratory, have developed these soy adhesives and have commercialized them for interior plywood, engineered wood flooring and particleboard. This technology also allows wood manufactu ...