Annual Report 2018

The Oregon Wood Innovation Center continues emphasizes 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.


Below are highlights of our activities and accomplishments in 2018 and brief details on where we are headed in 2019.

2018 Activities


    • Contract projects - several projects were conducted to help Oregon firms solve problems and explore new products and new markets including:

      Assistance with new product development:

      • Assessment of acetylated veneer used for exterior door panels - specimens were tested in our MCMEC in the Green Building Materials Lab and assessed over a 30-day period for UV exposure, direct water spray, as well as temperature and humidity extremes
      • Evaluation of a dip coating for wood stabilization

    • Coatings - we launched an 18-month project to evaluate 12 exterior coatings on 5 wood species in outdoor exposure; specimens have been placed in Corvallis and Madras, OR; additional pieces will be placed in Hilo, HI in 2019
    • Evaluation of a company's new thermally modified timber product line - bending properties, fastener withdrawal strength, dimensional stability, and durability against decay fungi were assessed

    Exterior coatings test at 'post farm', North of Corvallis, OR

Outcomes and Impacts

This summer, an impact assessment for OWIC activities was conducted by interviewing 11 of the clients we have assisted since the Center was founded in 2006. Some key highlights include:

  • Impacts of maple veneer checking research -one company we've worked with had paid nearly $100,000 in claims related to checking in decorative panels. Personnel at one of the firm's manufacturing facilities worked with a key customer to resolve issues with their product based on the results of the checking study we've completed. By working with us to conduct lab tests and using sensors during transportation of the product in rail cars, the firm learned that the issues were related to moisture and temperature changes. They adjusted their acclimatization process for these products and implemented a VMI (vendor managed inventory) system for their higher value customers in these regions, where the reduction in product defects justified the additional cost of the inventory system. Before testing the hardwood plywood panels, the firm was documenting checking on 5% of their product. By implementing the new tracking process and acclimatization system these defects have been virtually eliminated, translating to quality improvements on 20,000 panels for this one customer alone.
  • Based on our protoyping efforts, a start-up firm was able to secure a $1 million USDA loan guarantee to build a specialized production line.
  • A specialty panel manufacturer in Oregon has worked extensively with us on product performance testing related to their veneer and solid sales. In 2010, we assessed the glue that was used on eucalyptus veneer panels to determine why the product turned brown after shipment to a job site. The company found a new process that mitigated veneer discoloration, and to date they have sold $1.6 million in eucalyptus veneer to clients such as Nordstrom, Panera, and a US Embassy. The company states that they were able to offer this product line specifically because of their work with us.

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:

TallWood Design Institute (TDI) - Evan Schmidt, Outreach Coordinator was hired this year - info on Evan and TDI activities may be found at http://tallwoodinstitute.org/contact-tallwood-design-institute