Annual Report 2013

The Oregon Wood Innovation Center continues to emphasize connections to assist Oregon wood products firms solve challenges and pursue new business opportunities. We work to connect industry personnel with our resources and technical information, help connect buyers and sellers of Oregon forest products, and enable industry professionals to network with one another.

Perhaps the biggest step we made in 2013 was refurbishing our wood shop to enhance our capabilities related to secondary/value-added machining.  For example, we have a new planer, table saw, jointer, belt sander, and CNC router as well as new workbenches and power tools for modern joinery systems.  The new-and-improved shop was used for our pilot run of a new precision wood machining class for 8 undergraduate students.  These students now have the skills to assist us with projects for our industry clients.

Below are highlights of our other activities and accomplishments in 2013 and brief details on where we are headed in 2014.

2013 Activities

Publications

 

  • Contract projects - numerous projects were conducted to help Oregon firms solve problems and explore new products and new markets:
    • Wood movement (e.g., shrink/swell, warp, adsorption, etc.) time-lapse videos - have a look at http://owic.oregonstate.edu/wood-movement
    • Several new product development projects:
      • Testing of Rotbloc - a new product to extend the service life of fence posts
      • Testing of SPEKPLY engineered wood panel product for bending strength, hardness and fastener withdrawal strength
      • Evaluation of a new adhesive for high-end millwork (durability in high temperature as well as wet conditions)
      • Determination of the adhesive bond strength for fasteners in wood ceiling panels
    • Several projects related to hardwood plywood manufacturing:
      • determination of the cause of discoloration on mahogany plywood and eucalyptus plywood, internal bond testing of 2 new hardwood plywood constructions,
      • examination of plywood core material for the presence of tension wood
      • test for susceptibility of cherry plywood to discolor due to iron in the adhesive mix water
    • Other projects during the year included several requests for wood identification, comparing hardness and screw withdrawal of domestic vs. imported door jamb materials, and determination of the cause of discoloration and cell collapse on pencil slats

Outcomes and Impacts

  • Dirk Wallace, Director of Product Development for SPEKPLY (discussed above) stated that, "In the months since SPEKPLY conducted our structural testing at OWIC we have made continuous progress in manufacturing logistics and gained traction in the design community at large. The data provided by OWIC has been instrumental when presenting SPEKPLY to architects, designers, builders and potential distributors. People are captivated by SPEKPLY's unique aesthetic, and OWIC's technical data helps tremendously in giving them the confidence they need to consider SPEKPLY for their projects... Most recently SPEKPLY has been selected as one of the key design elements for a new upscale Portland business."
  • Kayla Wicks, Renewable Materials undergraduate student, assisted with the development of a series of time-lapse videos on wood movement. Charley Coury, President of 9Wood in Springfield, was discussing wood movement with a customer and stated, "Your time lapse video with the pencils tells the story in 37 seconds much better than a full length e-mail.”

Work In Progress

We also continue to focus on both short-term problem-solving technical assistance as well as longer-term efforts to assist Oregon firms remain competitive in the global marketplace. Examples of 'work in progress' include:

  • The Oregon Forest Industry Directory is being completely updated and revamped and will include map locations for all the listings; release date will be on or before April 30, 2014
  • Problem-solving research - several projects are currently underway including:
    • Wood identification of tsunami debris found on beaches in Hawaii
    • Exploration of the correlation between wood material properties and acoustics for musical instruments
    • Assisting a firm with materials and manufacturing methods for surfboards
    • Determining the cause of burning and/or partial cutting in wood puzzles
    • Developing more time-lapse videos related to veneer checking on hardwood plywood
  • Biomass -Our faculty are playing a key role in the research and outreach teams related to the multi-year Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) project
  • Workshops & Webinars - new modules for the wood composite science distance education short course continue to be developed as is our second annual OWIC Innovation Days, a repeat of our 2011 offering on Controlling Mold & Sapstain in Logs & Lumber, and a new course in collaboration with Virginia Tech on Improving Operations to Remain Competitive and Profitable