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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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Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering

Project Title :  Weathering mechanisms and service life prediction of wood and wood-based products
Project Number : FPL-4707-1
Start Date : 07-26-2004
End Date : 07-26-2009
Gregory SchuenemanPrincipal Investigator:
Gregory Schueneman

Non Technical Summary
Wood and wood-based materials used in residential construction are not performing as expected because of inadequate understanding of the mechanisms by which they are failing and inadequate methods for predicting their service life. Information developed through this research improves the service life of wood and wood-based products used in outdoor applications through an active technology transfer program. Information on the performance of various wood products with a wide variety of finishes and chemical treatments are investigated in various weather conditions. The information is valuable to the wood and paint industries and the general public, which depends on unbiased information that is based on sound research.

Objectives Summary
Research will focus on evaluating the surfaces and interfaces of wood and other lignocellulosic materials with non-wood materials including paints and other finishes, sealants, adhesives, inorganic materials, and other polymers.

Approach Summary
This problem area requires a materials science approach involving structure property relationships, chemistry, biology, and physics of wood. An important area of research is the retardation or inhibition of degradation through polymer modifications to produce weather resistant wood surfaces. The mechanisms of both natural and man made weathering factors will be investigated in a series of basic and applied laboratory and field experiments. The studies will address chemical changes on the surface of wood and at the interface with other materials. Studies will also evaluate adhesion so that the chemical changes can be linked to measurable performance parameters. As basic mechanisms of surface protection are elucidated, research will include evaluating non conventional approaches to surface protection.

Project Summaries last modified: 12-06-2010