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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Research Unit: Durability and Wood Protection Research

Primary Goals: Efficient utilization and serviceability of wood through basic and applied research on the nature and control of biodeteriorating organisms.

Wood is an aesthetically pleasing, versatile structural material and a highly valuable renewable resource. However, vulnerability to moisture, decay, and termites are important limitations to the expected long service life of wood and can result in significant economic and resource loss.

One of the surest ways to extend the available timber supply and increase utilization of the forest resource to meet present and future demands is by improving the durability of wood in service.

Replacement of decayed wood resulting from moisture damage to homes is responsible for an estimated 10 percent of the annual timber cut in the United States. Chemical treatments can be used to improve wood’s resistance to fungal decay and insect damage, but more effective treatments are needed that improve the performance and service-life of wood products and engineered composites that are being developed from our changing forest resources. Wood protection systems need to be developed with the environmental impact, climate change and disposal in mind.

For more information about this unit's research, please view the Durability And Wood Protection Research At The Forest Products Laboratory informational brochure.