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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 Structures  / Research Highlights

88 Research Highlights - Advanced Structures

Publication Year: 2019
Maternity colony of female big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) roosting in a manmade bat house. Rutgers University
Highlight ID: 1327
Bats, People, and Buildings: Issues & Opportunities

Proponents for wood as construction material cite timber as a sustainable resource, with almost limitless supply, low carbon footprint, and opportunities for reclamation. However, sustainable building design can and should consider broader issues, su ...
Example of Heavy Timber Buckling-Restrained Brace with failure of the encased steel. Univeristy of Utah
Highlight ID: 1334
Development of a Heavy Timber Buckling-Restrained Brace for Tall Wood Buildings

Recent advancements in timber technologies are pushing mass timber systems into larger commercial-scale markets where steel and concrete systems dominate the landscape. One such market, Buckling-restrained braced frames (BRBFs), is a newer type of se ...
Schematic representation of moisture transport and gradients during the process of water vapor absorption. USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 1323
Development of New Kinetics Models for Water Vapor Sorption in Wood

Wood is constantly exchanging water with its environment and these exchanges control nearly all of wood's amazing properties. Research has recently shown that this process is still not understood and old models that were thought to explain these proc ...
Shake table testing of CLT wall system. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1333
Earthquake Resistant Cross Laminated Timber Shear Wall System

High and mid-rise wood building are only possible because of the development of an innovative mass timber product called Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). CLT has now been commonly accepted as a new-generation engineered wood product with great potential ...
Untreated CLT samples exposed in a modified ground proximity test after approximately 6 months exposure. Pictured shelter tubes are of the subterranean termite, Reticulitermes spp. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1332
Going Big with Mass Timber Protection

Researchers are leading efforts to better understand mass timber as a next generation building material and provide safe effective protection strategies to ensure public safety and responsible forest stewardship. ...
Researchers built a test hut with a variety of different exterior insulations and interior vapor retarders in order to test some common cases in the cold climate of Wisconsin. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1328
Keeping Wood-Frame Housing Safe and Warm

Is it okay to add exterior insulation (covering the wood sheathing) in order to make your home even more energy-efficient? FPL researchers investigate under what conditions this is safe. ...
A method was developed to estimate biocide leaching from preservative-treated wood used above aquatic habitat. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1324
Method for Estimating Wood Preservative Leaching

Pressure-treated wood is widely used for construction projects in sensitive environments. This research project developed a method to estimate biocide leaching from pressure-treated wood exposed to precipitation. ...
Building under construction featuring glue-laminated timber columns and beams and cross-laminated timber floors. Colorado School of Mines
Highlight ID: 1330
Monitoring Moisture Levels in Mass Timber Buildings

Detailed measurements on moisture levels in mass timber buildings in the United States are scarce. Researchers are working with Colorado School of Mines to monitor conditions in mass timber buildings in three different U.S. climates. ...
Potawatomi State Park observation tower.
USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1326
Nondestructive Assessment of Wood Members in a Viewing Tower in Potawatomi State Park, Door County, Wisconsin, USA

The condition of a historic observation tower was assessed to determine if it could be enjoyed safely. ...
Publication Year: 2018
All three structures remained standing after the testing  even tests designed to take the structures well beyond their design intent. WoodWorks  Wood Products Council
Highlight ID: 1318
Blast-Resistant Testing for Loaded Mass Timber Structures

The ability of cross laminated timbers to resist nearby detonations is verified through blast testing. ...
Laboratory experimental process to evaluate adhesive bonding properties of CLT made from hardwood and softwood species grown in the Great Lakes region. Michigan Technological University
Highlight ID: 1308
Bonding Mixed Species for Advanced Biomaterials

Massive composite timbers, such as cross laminated timber (CLT), are essential for tall timber buildings that require use of locally available wood resources to reduce manufacturing costs and minimize environmental impacts. This opens a potential sus ...
A northern hardwood stand in the Dukes Experimental Forest, Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1310
Effects of Silviculture Practices on the Engineering Properties of Northern Hardwood Species of the Lake States

Wood quality is an important determinant of its end use and therefore its value. Recent proliferation of novel engineered wood products has created new potential uses for hardwood. However, a greater understanding of wood quality is needed to allow c ...
Photo of the historic ship Eureka. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1302
Examination of Historic National Park System Ship Eureka

Researchers collaborated with the National Park Service (NPS) to examine a historic ship preserved at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. ...
Regions of the termite digestive tract showing the large hindgut, which is, essentially, an anaerobic bioreactor packed full of microbes that digest cellulose. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1305
Giving Termites "Stomach Aches"

Chitosan can be used to upset the microbial imbalance in the termite hindgut, leading to the establishment of three different bacterial pathogens. ...
Automated sorption balance. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1313
Improving the Accuracy of Automated Instruments for Moisture in Wood

Automated instruments are increasingly used for measuring the equilibrium moisture content of wood. Research finds that common methods have much larger errors than claimed in the literature, so researchers developed a method to improve accuracy. ...
Group photo. Beijing Forestry University
Highlight ID: 1303
International Research Institute Formed to Address Utilization of Plantation Grown Biomaterials

Leading wood scientists and engineers from around the globe formed an international group to address conservation issues surrounding historic trees and structures. ...
Typical timber bridge example. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1309
Laboratory Evaluation of Salvaged Bridge Girders from U.S. Route 66

Timber bridges have been in-service for nearly nine decades along Southern California's Historic Route 66 National Trails Highway. Several untreated sawn timber stringers were recently salvaged and transported to the FPL for a laboratory investigatio ...
Photograph of autonomous testing robot with sealants and load cells mounted within. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1307
Outdoor Strain Cycling Robot Reveals Key Durability Factors for Building Sealants

Outdoor durability testing of building sealants by autonomous robot demonstrates advantages of summer over winter installation and the dominant role cyclic strain plays in property degradation. ...
Cover of ASHRAE Standard 160-2016
Highlight ID: 1312
Updating a Building Design Standard with Improved Criteria for Preventing Mold Growth

A consensus standard for building design that addresses moisture control analysis was recently revised to improve the criteria for preventing mold growth. ...
Finger joint after failure showing smooth wood surfaces that could be easily refit together where the adhesive failed at low temperatures. USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 1301
Wood Adhesives at High Temperatures

Researchers examined the performance of finger-jointed lumber to understand how it performs in fire. ...
Publication Year: 2017
Assembled Commodity Wood Tornado Safe Room.
Highlight ID: 1280
A residential tornado safe room from commodity wood products

Forest Service researchers designed a tornado safe room to be constructed from commodity wood building products and adaptable to existing homes. ...
CLT sample D4 prior to (left) and following (right) eight weeks of exposure to the Formosan termite, an invasive species of subterranean termite.
Highlight ID: 1279
Assessing termite impact on cross-laminated timber panels

Forest Service and Mississippi State University researchers are in the process of determining the impact of termites found in the Southeastern U.S. on cross-laminated timber (CLT), a mass timber product entering the tall building construction market. ...
Researcher Xiping Wang inspects field exposed specimens with ground penetrating radar.
Highlight ID: 1285
Assessing the ability of ground-penetrating radar to detect internal moisture and fungal decay

Internal moisture and fungal decay are detected in structural bridge members using ground penetrating radar for faster evaluation of timber bridges. ...
Phase-contrast light
microscopy of some protists found in the subterranean termite, Reticulitermes virginicus. A) Pyrsonympha minor, B) Spirotrichonympha flagellata, C) Trichonympha burlesquei, D)
Holomastigotes elongatum, E) Trichonympha agilis, F) Monocercomonas species. Scale bars are indicated for A and F, while B-E use the same scale bar as in A.
Highlight ID: 1278
Eco-friendly biopesticide protects wood from termites by affecting their hindgut symbionts

Chitosan kills termites by targeting their hindgut protists rather than the termite itself. ...
The stakes in the image are southern pine pressure treated with extractives of naturally durable wood species. These stakes have been installed in ground contact in Mississippi and Wisconsin and will be evaluated for the next 10 years.
Highlight ID: 1298
Effective utilization of naturally durable wood biomass offers an overlooked source of potential wood protectants

Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisc., are evaluating extractives as potential next-generation wood preservatives. This bio-rational approach offers environmentally friendly alternatives to wood preservatives ...
The Cedar Covered Bridge, Winterset, Iowa, was destroyed by a fire set by an unknown arsonist on the evening of September 3, 2002. The Madison County Board of Supervisors constructed a replica of the original bridge, but this replica was also destroyed by an arsonist on April 15, 2017.
Highlight ID: 1291
Evaluating fire-damaged components of historic covered bridges

Arson continues to claim many historic covered bridges including the most recent one: Cedar Covered Bridge ...
Flashover occuring during test 2 with a partiallyexposed CLT ceiling.
Highlight ID: 1273
Fire performance of CLT buildings

Fire tests demonstrate that CLT buildings can be designed to withstand fire. ...
Historically, U.S. housing construction and sales have been a major component of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
Highlight ID: 1288
Housing markets are critical to the wood products industry

U.S. and international housing markets are critical to the wood products industry, as new single-family units consume more value-added wood products than any other wood consuming sector. ...

Highlight ID: 1271
Improving biopolymers for packaging applications using surface-tailored cellulose nanocrystals

Demand is rapidly increasing for environmentally friendly packaging materials that are derived from renewable resources and are biodegradable, but many of these "green" polymers do not perform as well as traditional, fossil fuel-derived polymers. B ...
Dynamic vapor sorption instrument.
Highlight ID: 1292
Improving experimental techniques that probe wood-moisture interactions

Prior methods using dynamic vapor sorption instruments mischaracterized the equilibrium moisture content of wood. Equilibrium is reached after much longer times than previously claimed. This project provides a basis for methods that improve accuracy ...
Image of blown films in lab scale tower showing unstable balloon (with die temperature at 160 degrees Celsius and (b) PLA/L-CNC-0.3 percent composite with stable balloon (with die temperature at 160 degrees Celsius).
Highlight ID: 1297
Lignin coated cellulose nanocrystals Increase Shipment Temperature Strength and Allow Blown Film Production

Wood based nanomaterials enable higher use temperatures, greater strength, and faster productions cycles of renewable plastic. ...
Two copper-tolerant decay fungi, Fomitopsis palustris (left) and Wolfiporia cocos (right), exhibit delayed establishment on wood treated with copper plus targeted biocide (bottom wafer, 93) compared to wood treated with copper alone (top wafer, 44).
Highlight ID: 1286
Rational approach for discovering new, targeted biocides for wood protection

Forest Service researchers used a rational approach based on gene expression studies to identify a novel application of a fungicide for use in copper-based wood preservative systems. ...
Fig. 1 General experimental flow diagram of p-TsOH fractionation of wood for producing fibers, cellulose nanofibrils (LCNF), lignin nanoparticles (LNP), sugar/biofuel, and furfural. JY Zhu, USDA Forest Service Fig. 2 Application p-TsOH fractionation for producing lignin containing cellulose nanofibrils (LCNF) and lignin nanoparticles (LNP).
Highlight ID: 1287
Scientists discover rapid and near-complete dissolution of wood lignin by a recyclable acid hydrotrope

A low-temperature (below water boiling point) wood fractionation process has the potential for developing disrupting technologies for sustainable and economic production of wood pulp, wood-based nanomaterials, and biochemicals. ...
Phase diagram describing the states of water in wood.
Highlight ID: 1282
Scientists study how water changes wood

Water causes a host of wood damage mechanisms such as mold, decay, fastener corrosion, and splitting. This research elucidates how water changes wood and leads to these wood damage mechanisms. ...
The Catt Bridge is located in Buchanan County, Iowa, and is supported by GRS abutments and equipped with a smart bridge system.
Highlight ID: 1281
Smart timber bridge on geo-synthetic reinforced soil abutments

Forest Service researchers partnered in the construction and monitoring of an innovative bridge abutment system, developed to be lower cost and faster to construct with improved performance and durability as compared to other abutments. In addition, ...

Highlight ID: 1299
Understanding how the organization and interactions of the atoms that compose wood control its mechanical properties

To expand the uses and efficient utilization of wood, Forest Service researchers strive to learn how manipulate its molecular-scale structure to control its mechanical properties ...
Publication Year: 2016
Preliminary state diagram of water in wood constructed from literature data on the glass transitions of wood polymers and calorimetric studies on water in wood Samuel Zelinka, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 650
New Model for Understanding the Fiber Saturation Point of Wood

The fiber saturation point is a key measure of how much water can be held within wood before free water forms in empty spaces within wood structure. Forest Service researchers developed a new model to understand how bound and free water are partition ...
A new, portable tree testing tool for determining the hazard potential of urban trees. R. Bruce Allison, Allison Tree Care, Inc.
Highlight ID: 655
Scientists Develop New Tool to Detect Internal Decay in Trees

Through collaboration with an industrial partner, the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory helped develop a handheld tool to assist tree inspectors with detecting internal decay in standing trees. ...
Researchers are developing seismic performance factors for cross laminated timber buildings in the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 657
Seismic Performance of Cross-Laminated Timber Buildings

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings are becoming popular in earthquake regions of the United States, but structural engineers need new design methods. Forest Service research is striving to develop methods to design CLT buildings to six stories an ...
High-resolution laser scan image of a log with detected defect areas highlighted and acoustic waves passing through. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 656
Using New Technologies to Improve Log Defect Detection

Scientists from the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station cooperated with West Virginia University to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. hardwood lumber industry by improving the accuracy of log internal defec ...
Publication Year: 2015
Board treated with copper-based preservatives showing premature signs of rot caused by copper-tolerant brown rot fungi. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 616
A Knowledge-based Approach for Developing Green Building Solutions

Scientists are using gene discovery to accelerate their understanding of copper tolerance in wood decay fungi and create green solutions for wood protection. ...
X-ray fluorescence microscopy maps of concentration of chlorine (bottom) and potassium  (top) ions as a function of relative humidity.  The scale bar represents 20 microns. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 601
Advancing Understanding of Wood Damage Mechanisms

Forest Service researchers examined the diffusion of ions in wood using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy. The researchers found that there was a threshold moisture content below which diffusion does not occur. These data can help to ...
Mass Loss Calorimeter modified to include thermopile on chimney walls to compensate for radiant energy errors of the in-flow thermopile. Laura Hasburgh, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 608
Comparison of Two Bench-scale Tests Used for Obtaining Heat Release Rate

There is a growing demand for material properties to be used as inputs in fire behavior models designed to address building fire safety. This comparative study evaluates using the mass loss calorimeter as a low-cost alternative to the cone calorimete ...
Researchers studied the effect of diet on carpenter ant brood development. Clemson University, USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,
Highlight ID: 604
Effects of Diet on Brood Development in the Carpenter Ant

A Forest Service scientist fed carpenter ants an artificial diet, and variations of this diet, with nutrient components removed to examine the effects on brood development. The potential B vitamin and sterol contribution of a yeast found associated w ...
The dots are microscopic beads and the lines are fungal hyphae. The beads turn from red to green when exposed to oxidation. Notice that the bead next to the fungus is more green than the others. USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 618
How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were able to follow oxidation on a microscopic level. The information is helping them zero-in on the chemicals fu ...
Exterior walls of test huts viewed from the southeast. Lance Barta, Home Innovation Research Labs
Highlight ID: 617
Managing Moisture in Energy-efficient Wall Systems

Moisture durability is critical for design and construction of energy-efficient buildings. Field measurements of moisture characteristics for highly insulated walls in mixed-humid climates are lacking. Researchers from the Forest Service's Forest Pro ...
Simplified schematic representation of a cross-flow energy recovery ventilator core that allows transfer of heat and moisture to incoming supply air from exhaust air. This core helps maintain indoor conditions while bringing in fresh outdoor air. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 606
Understanding Impacts of Ventilation on Moisture Levels in Homes

"Build tight, ventilate right" is good for reducing energy use in homes. Ventilation can also change the moisture levels in homes, affecting both human comfort and structural durability. A Forest Service scientist investigated how to predict changes ...
Illustration of moisture sources and sinks in a typical home. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 607
Understanding Soil Gas Entry Into Homes

Your home sits on the ground, and hence is influenced by soil gas that can add both moisture and radon to your indoor air. A Forest Service scientist investigated how much moisture enters a home through soil gas infiltration, and what physical factor ...
Completed efficacy trial plots on the Chipola Experimental Forest. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 603
USFS Termiticide Report for 2014

The most recent efficacy data for termiticides currently on the market were reported as part of the USDA Forest Service Termiticide Testing Program. This report allows consumers and applicators nationwide to examine the relative performance of these ...
Publication Year: 2014
Researchers evaluated the Ming Dynasty Tombs and the Palace Museum located in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 586
Inspection Protocols Help Preserve Ancient Chinese Structures

Forest Service scientists worked with Chinese scientists and engineers to develop inspection procedures to aid in the preservation and restoration of historically significant wood structures. ...
Flames in wood crib of creosote-treated timbers, approximately eight minutes after application of hot metal wafer. Robert White, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 589
Intumescent Coating for Fire Protection of Structures

After years of development by industry, Forest Service scientists conducted specialized fire tests to prove the value of intumescent coating for fire protection. They developed a hot metal test to verify the superiority of commercial intumescent coat ...
Publication Year: 2013
Graphene produced from lignin, a complex polymer commonly derived from wood. Zhiyong Cai, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 442
Creating Advanced Graphene Material from Lignin

Graphene materials are produced from carbon containing compounds by physical, thermal, or chemical process in either the gas, liquid, or solid phase. Forest Service scientists and their partners at Mississippi State University are working together to ...
A galvanized joist hanger corrodes on a wood deck. Forest Service researchers developed a desk reference to help people select the appropriate construction materials to prevent these failures. Samuel Zelinka, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 438
Desk Reference on Fastener Corrosion Created for Engineers

Fastener corrosion is a design consideration when building exterior wood structures. Forest Products Laboratory researchers recently developed a desk reference for fastener corrosion with wood to help engineers select appropriate construction materia ...
The Cox Ford Bridge in Parke County, Indiana, has a Burr-arch truss configuration. James Wacker, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 433
Keeping America's Historic Covered Bridges Safe for Vehicular Traffic

The Forest Products Laboratory, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service is sponsoring a comprehensive research program on Historic Covered Timber Bridges in the United States. This national program's main ...
Life-cycle assessments help compares the environmental impacts of using wood decking versus non-traditional products. Tivoli Gough, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 441
Redwood Decking is a Good Choice for the Environment

Building products produce emissions throughout their lifespan, from harvest and manufacturing to use and final disposal. Using building products with low emissions, including greenhouse gases, will mitigate climate change. From cradle-to-grave, redwo ...
Fruit bodies of sequenced wood decay fungi Bjerkandera adusta (right image) and Ganoderma species (left image). Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Highlight ID: 446
Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi

Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products. ...
Bridge No. 738 located in Yakima County, Washington, remains in satisfactory condition after 75 years of service. James Wacker, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 434
Scientists Study True Longevity of Timber Highway Bridges

Do timber bridges last longer than concrete or steel bridges in similar climates This national project aims to generate more reliable data about the true longevity of timber bridges in the U.S. and allows for more accurate life-cycle assessments in t ...
Forest Service researcher conducts an in-grade bending test on Southern pine. David Kretschmann, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 440
Traditional Grading System Updated for Structural Lumber

The Forest Products Laboratory has traditionally provided unbiased information on the properties, characteristics, design, and use of structural wood products to groups and agencies that develop or control standards for ensuring public safety and hea ...
Installation of a cross-laminated timber panel for Promega building in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Steve Schmieding, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 439
Wood Construction Goes Beyond Its Traditional Roots

As interest in sustainable building options continues to grow. Wood construction is going beyond its traditional roots in housing and expanding into mid-rise, high-rise, and non-residential applications. To support this trend, a new U.S. guide for th ...
Publication Year: 2012
Laser scanning technologies further preservation efforts of historic covered bridges. Jim Wacker, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 25
America's Iconic Covered Bridges Documented With As Built Records

Laser scanning technology provides details of historic covered timber bridges ...
Cone calorimeter testing simulates realistic fire scenarios. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 13
Cone Calorimetry Takes Center Stage in Evaluating Fire Retardancy of Wood Products

Evaluations of cone calorimeter tests are now documented in handbook ...
An unidentified waxy substance in honey mesquite cells creates a physical barrier against fungal hyphae. Tom Kuster, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 7
Natural Wood Durability Studied to Estimate Wood's Performance

Naturally occurring chemicals in some wood species make them more durable against deterioration ...
The Cedarburg Covered Bridge, WI was one of the bridges included in this study. Stan Lebow, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 10
New Guide Advises Treatments and Technologies To Protect Historic Wooden Bridges

Forest Service and university researchers collaborate to evaluate methods of protecting wooden bridges from fire and biodegradation. ...
The brown rot fungus Fibroporia radiculosa is very tolerant to copper. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 24
Scientists Find the Achilles' Heel of Wood Fungi Tolerance to Preservatives

Inhibiting the enzymatic pathway in copper tolerant brown rot fungi can block its tolerance of commercial wood preservatives ...
Researchers are studying the freezing and melting of water in solid wood to learn about wood decay and faster corrosion processes. Tatiana Morozova,
Highlight ID: 15
Water Freezing in Wood: How Low Can It Go

The freezing and melting of water in wood gives clues about how water bonds to wood during processes such as wood decay and fastener corrosion ...
The Fairbanks House demonstrates design and construction details that have allowed this wood structure to stand for  three centuries. Jeffery Howe, Boston College
Highlight ID: 2
Wood Can Last for Centuries if Protected From Moisture

Report dispels myths about wood construction through proper information that educates and empowers the public ...
Publication Year: 2011
Bacterial infection in termites experiencing colony collapse. The red coloration in the termite
Highlight ID: 302
Colony collapse of Eastern subterranean termites

Termite colonies in laboratory and field tests were rapidly eliminated using a trap, treat and release method with commercial termite toxicants and a patented termite bait developed at the Forest Products Laboratory. Characteristic changes occurred i ...
Serious wood/metal corrosion of a fastener under a deck in Branson, MO. Samuel L. Zelinka, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 278
Corrosion of metals in wood

Corrosion data are necessary for the safe design and construction of wood decks and patios. Previous research was unable to calculate corrosion rates because the surface areas of threaded fasteners are difficult to calculate. This work builds upon ...
Atomic force microscope image of nanoindents placed in a Loblolly pine cell wall. For perspective, a typical human hair is about 50 m in diameter. Joseph E. Jakes, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 290
Developing tools to assess mechanical properties of wood cell walls

Nanoindentation is a tool capable of probing mechanical properties at the sub-micrometer level, such as in wood cell walls, individual components in a wood-based composite, coatings, adhesive bondlines, etc. However, conventional nanoindentation meth ...
Stake plots in the Harrison Experimental Forest, Saucier, Mississippi, evaluate the durability of wood products. Stan Lebow, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 291
Durable wood product evaluations

In an effort to reduce the amount of time required to obtain meaningful durability data for wood products, it has become widely accepted to use smaller specimens in field tests. Smaller specimens generally yield faster results but tests comparing sma ...
The process elements for the biomass gasification concept that are incorporated into the spreadsheet model. Edward M. (Ted) Bilek, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 303
Engineering and Economic Modeling of Biofuels Production

FPL researchers developed a flexible and customizable computer model that allows users to do a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of incorporating a biomass gasification plant into an existing pulp mill. The user can model the biomass gas pro ...
Wooden ammunition pallets are placed in a laboratory kiln to be heat treated for ISPM-15 standard. Xiping Wang, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 282
Heat treating wooden ammunition pallets for invasive species

Wood pallets serve as support for munitions loads and other military supplies transported within the continental U.S. and internationally. Despite this integral transport function, wood pallets have been identified as a major pathway for the introduc ...

Highlight ID: 304
Integrating the Production of Nanofibrillated Cellulose and Biofuels

FPL researchers have demonstrated a method of integrating the production of cellulose nanofibers and biofuels. Such a strategy is expected to improve the economics and reduce the financial risks associated with producing nanocellulose and biofuels fr ...
An excerpt from a Business to Consumer EPD for western redcedar decking. Jennifer O
Highlight ID: 285
Labeling Wood Products Based on Environmental Impacts - Helping consumers make sustainable choices

Environmental product declaration (EPD) is a summary of the environmental impacts associated with producing and using a product or service. An EPD is based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) and can be used to compare products on an equal basis. EPDs a ...
Researchers are investigating the softening behavior of difficult-to-pelletize biomass and its effect on pelletizing. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 288
Softening of Biomass and Its Effect on Fuel Pellet Production

Biomass such as torrefied wood or wheat straw are of increasing interest as fuel but are difficult to pelletize. Researchers are investigating the softening behavior of these materials to improve the pelletization process. ...
Publication Year: 2010
Schematic of the innovative impedance spectroscopy experiments performed at the US Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory that showed electrical conduction in wood is governed by percolation theory. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 154
A percolation model for water and electrical conduction in wood with implications for durability

Recently, researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory and University of Wisconsin have developed a new model of electrical conduction in wood that provides a good fit to experimental data, offers insight into the mechanism of conduction, and integr ...
X-ray radiation method to determine moisture gradient in wood. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 162
An Innovative Method for Determining Moisture Gradient of Wood Products

Changes in moisture content of wood-based composite materials can lead to linear expansion and, more specifically, hygroexpansion. This can cause severe internal stresses resulting in deformities and defects such as warping, surface checks, and honey ...

Highlight ID: 170
Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general public through architects and design engineers who use wood in highly engineered structures. ...

Highlight ID: 188
Engineering Standard for Moisture Control in Buildings

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 160-2009, Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings, was published in May 2009. This engineering standard was developed over the past 13 years by an international committee chaired by an FPL scientist. The standa ...

Highlight ID: 158
History of lumber submissions under ASTM D 1990 since the North American In-Grade testing program

The North American In-Grade Testing Program, begun in the mid-1970s, tested more than 70,000 full-size specimens of North American production lumber representative of the total specimen population throughout the geographic range of production. Forest ...

Highlight ID: 186
Identification of economically significant death-watch and spider beetles in Wisconsin

Two widely distributed beetle families, the death-watch (Anobiidae) and spider beetles (Ptinidae), include a number of economically significant species which cause damage to wooden materials and/or stored products. Distribution and abundance of sever ...

Highlight ID: 156
Improving Accelerated Testing of Durable Wood Products

Durable wood products such as posts, poles and timbers are expected to resist decay and termite attack for several decades. Testing the durability of new types of wood products is challenging because it is impractical to conduct tests for more than a ...
Physical phenomena described by mathematical models for indoor humidity in homes. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 153
Modeling indoor humidity in homes

Indoor humidity levels in a home influence not only occupant comfort and indoor air quality but also the durability of the building, especially in cold climates. Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory undertook a critical assessment of the lit ...
Fumigating with essential oils from plants like dill kills termites. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 152
Natural fumigants protect wood against termites

Forest Products Laboratory researchers discovered that essential oils from some common plants such as dill, rosemary and lemongrass can be used as fumigants to kill termites. ...

Highlight ID: 187
North America's pellet sector

The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory's nationwide mission to assess the wood sector's status and trends placed this research within its sphere. In collaboration with the Endowment for Forest Communities, through the University of Tennessee, a comprehe ...
Tsunami damaged building in the town of Dichato, Chile, 2010. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 179
Performance of Wood Structural Systems in Earthquake Zones

FPL scientists were actively involved in field assessments of low-rise structures, particularly wood structures, looking for seismic and tsunami damage in Concepcin, San Pedro de la Paz, Talcahuano, and Dichato. Presentations were made to Chilean woo ...

Highlight ID: 157
Public Access to Actual Data Files for Cone Calorimeter Tests of Wood Products

The cone calorimeter test is a fire test used internationally for research and development of new fire retardants and to provide input data to models for predicting the reaction of building materials to fire and the spread of a fire within a building ...
Termites dusted with N
Highlight ID: 155
Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail

Regarding Wisconsin termines, laboratory tests were initiated to evaluate transfer of a number of different dusting compounds to un-dusted colony mates with varied results. ...