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


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Engineered Composites Science

Project Title :  Develop tools to address resource sustainability, enhance recyclability and minimize the envrionmental impacts of composite processing
Project Number : FPL-4706-3A
Start Date : 08-24-2007
End Date : 08-23-2012

View the 12 publications associated with this project.

Zhiyong CaiPrincipal Investigator:
Zhiyong Cai

Non Technical Summary
The nationAEs timber supply is changing. Gone are the days of unlimited large-diameter softwood timbers that produced wide lumber and large veneer logs. Further, changes in the industrial access to the Federal timber supply, increased demand on smaller and more diverse timber resources and an international need for assuring enhancing forest resource sustainability highlight the critical opportunities presented by composites. Composites are the tool by which America and the international community can both achieve forest resource sustainability and meet user needs in our ever-more affluent societies and for our growing populations. The main sources of wood and woody-based material and fiber for composites are (1) trees produced from unmanaged stands, (2) trees produced from managed stands, (3) trees produced under sustainable forestry principles and emerging practices, (4) plantation-grown trees, (5) recovered (i.e., recycled) wood, paper and paperboard, (6) wood residues from industrial/manufacturing operations, and (7) agriculture fibers and crops. Plantation-grown trees are likely to be single species, of even age and size class, relatively uniform, and recently genetically improved. Timber from natural stands or trees produced under sustainable forestry principles are likely to be more diverse, being of mixed species, uneven age, and mixed size classification. In addition, because inventories of hardwoods are growing rapidly, hardwoods are becoming more available. Their use in composites must be understood, and then utilized to economically meet user needs.

Objectives Summary
Develop tools to address resource sustainability, enhance recyclability and minimize the environmental impacts of composite processing.

Approach Summary
The three specific components of this research problem are to: 1) Develop technology to provide management tools to foresters which add value to low-value timber and thereby add options to forest management that promote resource sustainability; 2) Offer post-industrial and post-consumer waste stream managers with tools that enhance waste stream value and promote subsequent recyclability; and 3) Provide technologies to composite industry that minimize the environmental impacts of composite processing. The overall goals of this program are optimize how we convert wood and woody biomass, recycled, and non-wood materials into durable, cost effective, high performing and long service-life products that are recyclable and otherwise environmentally friendly. We will also expand our understanding of how heat, pressure, and temperature parameters relate to the evolution of VOCs that are emitted during the fabrication of various products. The materials and processing research developed in FPL-4706-1 and -2 will be used to develop methodology for balancing performance properties to end-use applications in a cost effective manner.

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2008Anaerobically digested bovine biofiber as a source of fiber for particleboard manufacturing: An Eocnomic Analysis06/26/09
2010Chapter 6 Wood Thermoplastic Composites02/07/11
2011Effect of oxalic acid pretreatment of wood chips on manufacturing medium-density fiberboard10/17/11
2010For. Stud. China, 2010, 12(1): 9-1312/16/10
2008Integrated biomass technologies: future vision for optimally using wood and biomass10/15/10
2010Opportunities of using bio-based materials for value-added composites07/15/10
2011Oxalic acid pretreatment of rice straw particles and loblolly pine chips: Release of hemicellulosic carbohydrates07/05/11
2008Potential of using Anaerobically Digested Bovine Biofiber as a Fiber Source for Wood Composites06/26/09
2011Preformed Amide-containing biopolymer for Improving the Environmental Performance of Synthesized Urea-formaldehyde in Agro-fiber Composites11/08/11
2008Thermochemical remediation of preservative-treated wood10/15/10
2008Use of fire-impacted trees for oriented strandboards10/15/10

Project Summaries last modified: 06-20-2011