|Improving the characterization of the mechanical and physical properties of wood and wood-based products that are important in engineering design and fostering their efficient use in wood building systems.
The United States is the world's largest producer and consumer of wood products. Annual harvest of round wood is approximately 350 million tons, and more than half that harvest is used in some form of solid wood product (lumber, wood-based composites, and roundwood products, such as posts, poles, and pilings).
Because construction accounts for most of the consumption of solid wood products, trends in demand for these products are largely determined by trends in construction. It is projected that over the next 50 years there will be a two-thirds increase in the number of new households; therefore, our research is focusing on increasing the efficiency of wood-products use to support both the conservation and productivity of our Nation's forests.