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

52 Research Highlights - Advanced Structures

 
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, Bugwood.org
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, shutterstock.com
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. ...

 

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