Fastener Corrosion Research Garners Wood Engineering Achievement Award

Samuel Zelinka will be awarded a Wood Engineering Achievement Award at the 2014 Forest Products Society Annual Excellence Awards, Aug. 10-13, in Quebec City.


Samuel Zelinka

Zelinka, a materials research engineer at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), analyzes the relationships between wood and moisture with a particular focus on understanding how corrosion impacts the performance of fasteners. His work is part of the Durability and Wood Protection research group at FPL.

The Woodworking Network explains that Zelinka’s work developing electrochemical-based tools to assess the corrosion potential of fasteners in preservative treated wood is what garnered him the award. His findings have led to a “new model for electrical conduction in wood as a function of moisture content that helps explain why corrosion and mold growth occur below fiber saturation.”

This year’s Forest Products Society Convention, its 68th, is a joint effort between the Forest Products Society and the World Conference on Timber Engineering. It strives to combine the knowledge and experiences of a global network of professionals exploring the state of forest products research and innovations in the field.

In 2013 Zelinka published a popular desk reference on fastener corrosion created for engineers titled Guide for Materials Selection and Design for Metals Used in Contact with Copper-Treated Wood. Zelinka received the Presidential Early Career Scientist Award in 2011, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.