OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Annual Report 2021

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 entrepreneurs and 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 2021 and brief details on where we are headed in 2022.

2021 Activities


 

Workshops:
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact our ability to conduct in-person workshops for the first half of the year.  The following online courses were offered:

Oregon Forest Industry Directory

  • We contacted all of the primary mills and service providers (e.g., consulting foresters) listed in our online industry directory to get updated information

Development of Composites from Western Juniper Residues

Several years ago, we reported on the development of design values for western juniper lumber. This was a big step forward in market development for juniper enterprises. However, another major hurdle they face is the lack of viable markets for the large volumes of residues/byproducts. 

Sustainable Northwest and Business Oregon provided funding to explore development of products from these residues.  In 2020-2021, we developed and tested the mechanical and physical properties of strandboard (image to the right) from the larger/coarse residues and particleboard from the finer residues. 

Details on the findings can be found at http://owic.oregonstate.edu/western-juniper-composites.

 



Contract projects - as has been the case the past several years, we assisted several companies with their new product development efforts:

  • Siding - a company's new line of composite siding was (and still is as of February 2022) undergoing accelerated weathering in our MCMEC in the Green Building Materials Lab; testing included UV exposure, water spray, as well as temperature and humidity extremes; we also conducted testing of stability and resistance to iron stain of a company's new line of lap siding produced from a lesser-known wood species
  • Reclaimed materials - evaluation of Sankofa's 'SecondStory' products produced from reclaimed materials; properties tested included hardness, bending strength, screw withdrawal, moisture resistance, and internal bond

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:

  • Wood Coatings - our work related to testing exterior coatings continues in 2022; we wrapped up the analysis for materials exposed in Corvallis and a smaller-scale study in Madras in 2021 and launched a full-scale testin Madras to be completed in 2022. 
  • Veneer Checking - we have conducted several research projects related to checking in hardwood plywood; in 2021, we plan to follow-up on findings from Elijah Wilson's MS project by seeking to understand why checking sometimes occurs in the form of a few, relatively large (visible to the naked eye) checks whereas at other times, numerous fine checks develop that are too small to be seen without magnification.
  • Other renewable materials - a couple of projects are planned related to the use of wood and foliage from palm trees
  • Adhesives - assuming a start-up firm is successful with securing SBIR funding, we will assist them with efforts to quantify the performance of their new adhesive for wood composite panels