FPL 2021 Wood Handbook Easily Accessed

All chapters of the Forest Products Laboratory’s 2021 Wood Handbook are available online. You can choose specific chapters from the handbook to view here.

Wood handbook: Wood as an engineering material 

Chapter 1 Wood as a renewable and sustainable resource Brashaw, Brian; Bergman, Richard

Keywords: wood; forestry; forest certification; carbon; LCA; stocks; sustainability; healthy forests; construction; buildings

File size: 2 MB

Chapter 2 Characteristics and availability of commercially important woods Wiemann, Michael

Keywords: Wood anatomy; wood identification; species descriptions; species uses

File size: 25.6 MB

Chapter 3 Structure and function of wood Wiedenhoeft, Alex; Eberhardt, Thomas

Keywords: wood biology; wood chemistry; wood anatomy; wood identification

File size: 8 MB

Chapter 4 Moisture relations and physical properties of wood Glass, Samuel; Zelinka, Samuel

Keywords: wood; moisture; water; water vapor; sorption; adsorption; absorption; moisture content; fiber saturation point; physical properties; density; specific gravity; dimensional stability; shrinkage; swelling; thermal properties; thermal conductivity; heat capacity; electrical properties

File size: 2 MB

Chapter 5 Mechanical properties of wood Senalik, Christopher Adam; Farber, Benjamin

Keywords: mechanical properties; wood; tension; compression; shear; bending; hardness; moisture; hardwoods; softwoods

File size: 5 MB

Chapter 6 Commercial lumber, round timbers, and ties Senalik, Christopher Adam; Farber, Benjamin

Keywords: lumber; grades; dimensions; grading agencies; poles; piles; ties; finished market products

File size: 2 MB

Chapter 7 Stress grades and design properties for lumber, round timber, and ties Senalik, Christopher Adam; Farber, Benjamin

Keywords: lumber grading; size adjustment; moisture adjustment

File size: 1 MB

Chapter 8 Fastenings Rammer, Douglas

Keywords: fastenings; nails; spikes; staples; bolts; screws; withdrawal resistance; metal plate connectors

File size: 4 MB

Chapter 9 Structural analysis equations Lo Ricco, Marco; Amini, Mohamed Omar; Rammer, Douglas

Keywords: structural analysis; wood beams; columns; built-up sections

File size: 3 MB

Chapter 10  Wood adhesives: bond formation and performance Frihart, Charles; Hunt, Christopher

Keywords: wood bonding; wood adhesives

File size: 2 MB

Chapter 11 Wood-based composite materials: panel products, glued laminated timber, structural composite lumber, and wood–nonwood composites Stark, Nicole; Cai, Zhiyong

Keywords: wood composites; cellulose nanocomposites; composite lumber; manufacturing; identification

File size: 5 MB

Chapter 12 Mechanical properties of wood-based composite materials Cai, Zhiyong; Senalik, Christopher Adam; Ross, Robert

Keywords: Wood-based; composite; mechanical properties; structural panel; industrial panel; structural lumber

File size: 423 KB

Chapter 13 Drying and control of moisture content and dimensional changes Bergman, Richard

Keywords: wood drying; wood stain; drying methods; moisture control; determination; wood defects; shrinkage; humidity; EMC; equilibrium moisture content

File size: 3 MB

Chapter 14 Biodeterioration of wood Arango, Rachel; Lebow, Stan; Glaeser, Jessie A.

Keywords: Fungi; insects; mold; bacteria; marine borers

File size: 6 MB

Chapter 15 Wood preservatives Kirker, Grant T.; Lebow, Stan

Keywords: Wood preservation; pressure treatment; disposal; usage guidelines

File size: 2 MB

Chapter 16 Finishing wood Hunt, Christopher

Keywords: finishes; wood; coatings

File size: 14 MB

Chapter 17 Use of wood in buildings and bridges Wacker, James

Keywords: wood; bridge; building; structural; thermal; moisture; sound

File size: 4 MB

Chapter 18 Fire safety of wood construction Dietenberger, Mark; Hasburgh, Laura, E..; Yedinak, Kara

Keywords: Fire performance; wood; char; ignition; flame spread; wildland urban interface; home ignition zone; flammability

File size: 1 MB

Chapter 19 Specialty treatments Ibach, Rebecca

Keywords: Plasticizing wood; wood modification; laminates

File size: 744 KB

Chapter 20 Heat sterilization of wood Wang, Xiping

Keywords: heat treatment; heating times; invasive species; pest; lumber; timber; treatment schedule

File size: 1 MB

FPL Scientist Reflects on 20 Years with the Lab

Charles Frihart – or Chuck, as he prefers to be called – has just retired after 20 years with the Forest Products Laboratory. Before that, he worked in industry even longer. The total experience has left him with a unique perspective.

“Before FPL, I spent most of my time in New Jersey,” Chuck reminisced. Even though he lived and worked there for most of his career, Chuck says that he and his family always said we were temporary residents of New Jersey, “because we always considered Wisconsin home.”

Chuck started out working for a pulp and paper company. He then joined Henkel, which is the world’s largest adhesive company.

Chuck says he was happy to have the opportunity to return to Wisconsin in 2001 to work at FPL. His job was to modernize the wood adhesive group through his knowledge of adhesives in non-wood fields.

When paper pulp is manufactured, lignin and other parts of the wood are removed to release cellulose fibers. These byproducts form “black liquor,” which is seven times more abundant than the final paper pulp. This material is concentrated and put through a recovery boiler to recycle the pulping chemicals and provide energy. The pulping by-products are converted into chemicals for adhesives, printing inks, fragrances, and other products.

In industry, Chuck worked on what to do with chemical byproducts from the pulping process.

Charles Frihart at work in the Forest Products Laboratory

“I was mainly working with the fatty acids and what to do with them,” explained Chuck. “Fatty acids are similar to hydrolyzed vegetable oil. Basically, I was working on adhesives for many applications and generated 29 patents.”

Chuck’s interest in bio-based compounds goes back to his college days.

“I’ve always studied these natural products from my work on nucleic acids in college, through industry work on fatty and rosin acids, and at FPL on protein adhesives.

“I was hired at FPL not because I knew a lot about wood adhesives, but because I knew adhesives in general,” Chuck continued. “I was also brought in because FPL wanted someone with a different perspective, which meant being comfortable with working in industry.

“Most of my years with the paper industry, we had a very good executive vice president who wanted people to do a combination of applied and fundamental research. Sometimes you have people who are very good at fundamental research and spend all their time doing it, but have no idea how to make useful products, and the people in industry tend to get so attached to doing the applied work, that they forget fundamental science, so you have to think on both levels, because they’re not mutually exclusive.

“They complement one another and you can make more progress when you combine the two. My goal has always been to make something new, but at the same time understand the fundamentals as well as I can, and not get tied up in either one.

“Trial and error only gets you so far, so my thing has been to really understand how wood adhesives work and why they fail. Wood adhesives don’t normally fail except under wet conditions, and in some cases, with some of the adhesives applications, you also need temperature resistance, as in a fire, and that was a problem.”

The adhesives group needed a team of  specialists in material science, analytical chemistry, mechanics and wood chemistry. The first addition involved Chuck’s welcoming Daniel Yelle, who does adhesive chemical reactions with wood polymers and lignin chemistry. “We have studied lignin, but few people have figured out how to get useful adhesive products out of lignin,” explained Chuck. “Although there have been about 200-some papers that have claimed that success, it’s actually only used marginally on a commercial level.

 “The other area for bio-based adhesives is proteins, and soy beans specifically,” said Chuck. “Besides oil and protein food products, it’s basically used as animal food. We don’t produce much tofu or other kinds of fermented soy-based products for people as they do in China and other parts of East Asia. Also, soybeans have a high percentage of lysine, which is an amino acid and an important nutrient for animals.”

Chuck said that it is very difficult to understand proteins in adhesive applications because proteins can change properties very easily, and it’s hard to measure when the properties of proteins change. Chuck pointed out that soy is the major product that has been used in interior wood adhesives in the United States for over 10 years.

Among the major accomplishments in wood adhesives at FPL, Chuck points to the work of Joseph Jakes and Nayomi Plaza Rodriguez, “because they have developed an understanding of the fundamental structure of wood cell walls.”

Joseph works with Argonne National Laboratory, and Nayomi works with Oakridge National Laboratory, both run by the Department of Energy. Chuck said that the major advantage to these collaborations is that the other labs have extremely expensive experimental equipment and allow FPL scientists to write proposals and have access to it. “What makes us different is that we combine chemical probes made by Linda Lorenz with the analysis of wood cell walls to understand how adhesives react with wood itself,” said Chuck.

“The real challenge with adhesives is that they typically only work well only under dry conditions. It’s when things get wet that many of the adhesives fall apart and you have joints coming apart on wood products, et cetera. And so you have to understand the wood swelling and shrinking properties and how it’s doing that, and what Joseph and Nayomi and the others have done is just fantastic. So I can’t claim credit; I had the concept, but I didn’t know how to do it, so my role was more of an instigator, rather than the person who figured out how to do it. And it made FPL the leader in understanding wood cell walls and the behavior of wood.

“FPL is fortunate to have a core of very bright young scientists who can carry us through for the next few decades and who are doing things that nobody else is doing.

“At a certain point,” Chuck said wistfully, “your science becomes dated, and you need to be replaced by people who have different knowledge and abilities of how to carry out science. I’ve enjoyed the science and the people at FPL. Being involved in science is in my blood and will continue, just on a lower priority.”


Newest Forest Products Journal Features Adhesives: Many FPL Researchers Present

Adhesive-bond

Photomicrograph of an adhesive bond of two pieces of wood. The blue areas show the adhesive penetration into the wood structure.

The latest issue (Volume 54, No. 1/2, 2015) of The Forest Products Journal is all about adhesives. Featuring 10 selected articles addressing a theme of efficient use of wood resources in wood adhesive bonding research presented at the 2013 International Conference on Wood Adhesives in Toronto, Canada, we hear from several FPL scientists.

FPL has played an integral role in developing technical understanding of adhesives and setting product and performance standards by organizations such as the ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials), American Institute of Timber Construction (AITC), APA–The Engineered Wood Association (APA), and the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA).

The first glue development research at the FPL in 1917 was to improve water resistance of the best glues available for manufacture of WWI aircraft components. At that time, FPL began to develop composites in an attempt to conserve our forests and make use of waste wood. Adhesives for housing, other buildings, timber bridges, and other structures has always been important.

In the Introduction to Special Issue: Wood Adhesives: Past, Present, and Future, Team Leader, Wood Adhesives, Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering, Charles Frihart provides a comprehensive history and explanation of the important role that adhesives have played in the efficient utilization of wood resources.

Speaking about wood products, Frihart says: “Adhesives will continue to be a growing part of efficient utilization of forest resources. However, acquiring suitable wood resources will continue to be a challenge because of a diminished supply of high-quality wood and competition for wood from wood pellet and biorefinery industries. The challenges involve dealing with species that are not currently being used and with a greater mixture of species. More plantation wood could involve increased porosity and lower strength because of increased proportion of earlywood. The wood may also have increased or more variable moisture content as a result of efforts to reduce drying costs.

Wood products volume should continue to increase especially if engineered wood products replace other building materials for multi-story buildings and if there are sufficient housing starts. One challenge could be in bonding wood to other materials if glulam or laminated veneer lumber start using layers of stronger polymers or composites for greater strength. There also might be markets for bonding to modified wood, such as acetylated wood or heat-treated wood.”

Challenges in our changing forests and in changing construction practices will keep Frihart and his team busy for years to come as they find ways to use their adhesive research to adjust to change and best utilize our natural resources.

 

 

Patents? From Dead Trees?

You may be surprised at how many technologies from FPL research get patented. What is the value of that? Patents are an effective mode of technology transfer, as they make technologies more appealing to the marketplace due to the exclusivity they offer. Technology transfer leads to increased productivity, increased industrial innovation, enhanced U.S. industrial competitiveness, job creation, and improved and lower cost public services.

Patents

Patent Advisor Janet Stockhausen and her team ensure that this technology transfer happens each year. In addition to the work of JY Zhu listed in a previous post, below are the patents that came from FPL this year.

Patents and Licenses

Maria G. Rojas, Joan A. Morales-Ramos, Frederick Green, and Thomas A. Kuster  – Naphthalenic Compounds as Termite Bait Toxicants (Patent No. RE44,543, Issued 10/22/13)

termiteattack

Wood attacked by termites.

Jeffrey P. Youngblood, Yizheng Cao, Robert J. Moon, William J. Weiss, and Pablo D. Zavattieri – Cellulose Nanocrystal Additives and Improved Cementious Systems, licensed by Purdue Research Foundation

Jilei Zhang, Zhiyong Cai, and Sung Phil Mun – Methods of Synthesizing Graphene from a Lignin Source, licensed by Mississippi State University

JY Zhu Recognized: Multiple Awards for this Productive Researcher

Director Michael T. Rains visited FPL yesterday to present length of service awards to employees, which recognize workers for each 5 years of their service. Mr. Rains also made a special point of remembering awards granted throughout the year, and researcher JunYong (JY) Zhu deserves a shout out for his many accomplishments. Possibly the most prestigious of this year’s many awards for Dr. Zhu was the 2014 R&D Deputy Chief’s Distinguished Science Award.

Deputy-Chiefs-Award-2013_Zhu-300x257

Dr. Zhu was recently honored with the 2014 U.S. Forest Service R&D Deputy Chief’s Distinguished Science Award.

But that’s just one of Dr. Zhu’s 2014 accomplishments. Did you know that FPL research results in many patents? Indeed, the Patent Program helps convert Forest Service research into usable information and technologies that benefit both the American public and industry. Dr. Zhu is an inventor on 7 issued patents and 5 pending patent applications. Following are Dr. Zhu’s most recent patents:

JY Zhu and Hao Liu – Metal Compounds to Eliminate Nonproductive Enzyme Adsorption and Enhance Enzymatic Saccharification of Lignocellulose.

JY Zhu and Richard S. Reiner (FPL) – Methods for Integrating the Production of Cellulose Nanofibrils with the Production of Cellulose Nanocrystals (Patent No. 8,710,213, Issued 4/29/14).

One of FPL’s most prolific researchers, Dr. Zhu received the GMFAA Employee of the Year Award, Technical Category, for his sustained research excellence and productivity. He has published more than 90 refereed research papers and has delivered over 75 presentations. His contributions have been directed to utilization of small-diameter wood for fiber products and developing forest biorefinery technologies and nanocellulose production strategies.

JY Zhu received the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) 2014 Research and Development Award.

FPL and the American public are fortunate to have such a devoted and hard-working researcher working for us.