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

 

You are here: FPL Home  / Research  / Units  / Engineered Composites Sciences  / Research Emphasis Areas

Research Emphasis Areas

Current research projects currently being pursued by members of the Engineered Composites Sciences Research unit:

Project No: FPL-4706-1A
Title: Understanding the fundamental relationships between wood, natural fiber, and alternative materials to optimize composite processing and performance.

Project Leader:
Cai, ZhiyongCai, Zhiyong

 


Research Emphasis Area:
 Advanced Composites

fpl
Overview:
Today's composites incorporate a variety of woody-based raw materials that have traditionally been tailored to meet specific requirements for use in specific products. In the future, raw materials will come from a variety of wood species, other biomass forms, and even materials from recycling and recovery operations. The diversity of such material can have a significant impact on the processing and performance of alternative composites, so researchers are working to develop correlations between raw materials and the final product.

Research goals include developing a database of raw material characteristics that correlate material properties to process options to performance characteristics; studying alternative materials suitable for composites; developing test methods and standards for composite materials that reflect performance in actual use conditions; and understanding how composite performance can be maximized with a minimum cost to performance ratio.

Project No: FPL-4706-2A
Title: Improving the performance, durability, and value of existing composites and defining the next generation of hybrid composites made from natural fibers and alternative materials.

CRIS Project: FPL-4706-2A

Project Leader:
Cai, ZhiyongCai, Zhiyong

 



Research Emphasis Area:
 Advanced Composites

fpl
Overview:
Researchers are working to develop, define, and characterize various raw materials and processing options to improve traditional composites and develop composites of the future. Heat, pressure, chemical and temperature parameters in processing and use will be investigated as they relate to the mechanical and physical properties of various products.

fpl Project No: FPL-4706-3A
Title: Developing tools to address resource sustainability, enhance recyclability, and minimize the environmental impacts of composite processing.

Project Leader:
Cai, ZhiyongCai, Zhiyong

 


Research Emphasis Area:
 Advanced Composites
 Woody Biomass Utilization

fpl
Overview:
Composite products offer many varied opportunities to promote sustainability of our natural resources. Development of new technologies provides tools for foresters that add value to underutilized timber and thereby add sustainability-promoting management options. Researchers are also working to develop tools that offer post-industrial and post-consumer waste-stream managers options to enhance waste-stream value and promote recyclability. We are also working to provide industry with technologies that minimize the environmental impacts of processing these products, including 'in-the-woods' technologies for the conversion of woody biomass into consumer products.