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Highlight IDTitleStrategic Program Area(s)YearStation
Photo of X-ray fluorescence microscopy maps of concentration of chlorine (bottom) and potassium  (top) ions as a function of relative humidity.  The scale bar represents 20 microns. USDA Forest Service
ID: 887
Advancing Understanding of Wood Damage Mechanisms

Forest Service researchers examined the diffusion of ions in wood using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy. The researchers found ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph Jakes

Resource Management and Use2015FPL
Photo of Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of the formation of silver nanoparticles on the surface of Tunicate CNCs. Robert Moon, Forest Service
ID: 301
Cellulose Nanocrystals

Cellulose nanocrystals are ultra-small rod-like reinforcement material that can be extracted from trees, plants and some sea animals. This new t ...

Principal Investigator : Robert J. Moon

Resource Management and Use2011FPL
Photo of
ID: 191
Cellulose Nanocrystals: Novel Templates for the Synthesis of Nanostructures

Harvesting the properties of widely available natural biopolymers for the design of novel systems in nanobiotechnology has been largely ignored ...

Principal Investigator : Robert J. Moon

Resource Management and Use2010FPL
Photo of Transmission electron microscope image of cellulose nanocrystals. Robert Moon, USDA Forest Service
ID: 449
Ceramic-Like Thermal Expansion Obtained from Cellulose Nanocrystal Films

One of the unique properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are their low dimensional change with changes in temperature. Understanding the rol ...

Principal Investigator : Robert J. Moon

Resource Management and Use2013FPL
Photo of Atomic force microscope image of nanoindents placed in a Loblolly pine cell wall. For perspective, a typical human hair is about 50 m in diameter. Joseph E. Jakes, Forest Service
ID: 290
Developing tools to assess mechanical properties of wood cell walls

Nanoindentation is a tool capable of probing mechanical properties at the sub-micrometer level, such as in wood cell walls, individual component ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph Jakes

Resource Management and Use2011FPL
Photo of Scanning electron image of cellulose nanocrystals coordinated to the surface of an epoxy particle. Natalie Girouard, Georgia Institute of Technology
ID: 894
Discovery of Cellulose Nanocrystals as Pot-life Stabilizers for Epoxy Coatings

Waterborne epoxy coatings are high-value, sought-after environmentally friendly products in the coating industry mostly due to their ease of use ...

Principal Investigator : Gregory Schueneman

Resource Management and Use2015FPL
Photo of Adhesive test with low-quality veneer.  Forest Service
ID: 1
Do Not Blame Adhesives When Veneers Are Guilty

Perfectly good adhesives may be wrongly discarded after failing a performance test when in actuality the veneer caused the failure.

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2012FPL
Photo of
ID: 280
Elucidating Covalent Bond Formation and Cleavage in Wood

A new technique has been developed to monitor structural changes in the polymers present in wood cell walls. This allows researchers, for exampl ...

Principal Investigator : Daniel J. Yelle

Resource Management and Use2011FPL
Photo of The figure shows two-dimensional NMR spectra of control (unreacted) loblolly pine and loblolly pine that has been reacted with a model compound of pMDI adhesive. The labels A, B, and C (and α, β, γ positions) relate to the chemical structures at the bottom of the figure. The contours labeled with a subscript r show reacted wood cell wall polymers. The reactivity of the lignin sidechains clearly dominates over all other wood cell wall polymers. Forest Service
ID: 173
Elucidating Covalent Bond Formation and Cleavage in Wood

Working with a group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Biochemistry, FPL researchers have discovered mechanistic details beh ...

Principal Investigator : Daniel J. Yelle

Resource Management and Use2010FPL
Photo of Uniform dispersion and neutral color of a polypropylene: CNC composites produced with solid state shear pulverization (a), and the opposite case for a standard melt mixer composite with excessive thermal degradation (b). Krishnan Iyer, Northwestern University
ID: 892
High-performance Cellulose Nanocrystal Polyolefin Composites are an Attractive Filler for Polymer Composites

Nanocellulose-polypropylene and nanocellulose-polyethylene composites exhibited the greatest improvement ever reported for such composites made ...

Principal Investigator : Gregory Schueneman

Resource Management and Use2015FPL
Photo of The dots are microscopic beads and the lines are fungal hyphae. The beads turn from red to green when exposed to oxidation. Notice that the bead next to the fungus is more green than the others. USDA Forest Service.
ID: 912
How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were ab ...

Principal Investigator : Christopher G. Hunt

Resource Management and Use2015FPL
Photo of Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers who performed small angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments to study the effects of chemical modifications and moisture on the wood nanostructure at the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor Bio-SANS beamline. From left to right, Joseph Jakes (FPL), Nayomi Plaza (FPL), Shou Qian (ORNL), and Venky Pingali (ORNL). Joseph Jakes, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 956
Improving Moisture Durability of Forest Products Using Small-angle Neutron Scattering

Moisture is the underlying cause of numerous durability issues in forest products, including decay, lack of dimensional stability, and fastener ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph Jakes

Resource Management and Use2016FPL
Photo of Image of blown films in lab scale tower showing unstable balloon (with die temperature at 160 degrees Celsius and (b) PLA/L-CNC-0.3 percent composite with stable balloon (with die temperature at 160 degrees Celsius).
ID: 1297
Lignin coated cellulose nanocrystals Increase Shipment Temperature Strength and Allow Blown Film Production

Wood based nanomaterials enable higher use temperatures, greater strength, and faster productions cycles of renewable plastic.

Principal Investigator : Gregory Schueneman

Water, Air, and Soil2017FPL
Photo of Surface color of modified (B, C, D) and unmodified (A) western red cedar before (0 h) and after (720 h) of artificial weathering in a WeatherOmeter. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
ID: 305
Lumen filling and sol-gel reinforcement of the wood cell wall

FPL researchers used a two-prong strategy to enhance weathering properties of wood. This dual treatment showed promise in protecting wood agains ...

Principal Investigator : Rebecca E. Ibach

Resource Management and Use2011FPL
Photo of The ability of chemicals to move in cell walls enables fastener corrosion and decay to occur. Stan Lebow, USDA Forest Service
ID: 588
New Insight into Wood Damage Mechanisms

Wood fails because bad things start to happen when wood gets wet. Dimensional stability, mold growth, fungal attack, fastener corrosion, all are ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph Jakes

Resource Management and Use2014FPL
Photo of Solar cells fabricated on cellulose nanocrystal films open the door for truly recyclable solar cell technology. Thinkstock
ID: 447
New Process Fabricates Efficient Reclyclable Solar Cells Using Natural Substrates

Solar cells fabricated on optically transparent cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) films reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprece ...

Principal Investigator : Robert J. Moon

Resource Management and Use2013FPL
Photo of The details of how a wood veneer is cut dramatically effects surface quality. These pictures show bits of wood (white) torn off veneers that were cut at different temperatures. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University.
ID: 950
New Test of Raw Material Quality Improves the Strength of Wood Laminates

Plywood and laminated veneer lumber are built from wood veneers. Because the test for surface quality of the veneer was not very useful, Forest ...

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2016FPL
Photo of Photograph of autonomous testing robot with sealants and load cells mounted within. 
ID: 1501
Outdoor Strain Cycling Robot Reveals Key Durability Factors for Building Sealants

Outdoor durability testing of building sealants by autonomous robot demonstrates advantages of summer over winter installation and the dominant ...

Principal Investigator : Gregory Schueneman

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2018FPL
Photo of Forest Service researchers are developing films for water decontamination using cellulose nanofibers. Thinkstock
ID: 450
Removing Organic Compounds from Water with Reusable Nanofiber Films

Researchers produced films for water decontamination using cellulose nanofibers as a matrix material for the suspension of photocatalytic nano p ...

Principal Investigator : Robert J. Moon

Resource Management and Use2013FPL
Photo of Chemical modification can make cellulose nanocrystals compatible with polymer resins and thermoplastics. Greg Scheunaman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 949
Site-Selective Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals

Forest Service researchers The hydrophilic surfaces of cellulose nanocrystals are synthetically converted to highly reactive functional groups.

Principal Investigator : Gregory Schueneman

Resource Management and Use2016FPL
Photo of
ID: 190
Sol-gel technology to enhance performance properties of wood or wood fiber

With support from industry partners, FPL researchers are developing new sol-gel technologies to enhance performance properties of wood or wood f ...

Principal Investigator : Mandla A. Tshabalala

Resource Management and Use2010FPL
Photo of Wood products made with soy adhesives, except for the bottom product which was made with a casein adhesive. From top to bottom: decorative plywood, hardboard, medium density fiberboard, particleboard, oriented strandboard, engineered wood flooring, and glulam.
ID: 1269
Soy adhesives resolve two problems at once

Lower formaldehyde emission bonded wood products can be made using plant-based adhesives through an industry-government partnership.

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2017FPL
Photo of Bonded wood panel products made with soy adhesives. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
ID: 309
Soy-based Adhesives for Wood Products

Soy-based adhesives developed at FPL have been commercialized and allow wood manufacturers to replace adhesives based on fossil fuel with biomas ...

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2011FPL
Photo of
ID: 172
Soy-Based Adhesives Provide Wood Composites That Meet California Emission Standards

Ashland- Hercules, working cooperatively with the Forest Products Laboratory, have developed these soy adhesives and have commercialized them fo ...

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2010FPL
Photo of The only difference between these plywood samples is the direction of cracks in the wood, which obviously affected the adhesive-performance (right image) test results. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University
ID: 435
Success of Wood Veneers Influenced by Harvesting Season and Temperature: Plywood Performance and Failure: A New Understanding

Cooperation with Finnish researchers results in new understanding of relationships between veneer processing, veneer properties, and product fai ...

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2013FPL
Photo of Laboratory subterranean termite test (Coptotermes curvignathus Holmgren) with five wood-plastic composites blends and untreated pine wood.
ID: 1507
Termite Resistance of Wood–Plastic Composites

Wood–plastic composite (WPC) specimens were exposed to termites both in the laboratory and the field in Bogor, Indonesia. On a scale of 0 (com ...

Principal Investigator : Rebecca E. Ibach

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2018FPL
Photo of
ID: 1299
Understanding how the organization and interactions of the atoms that compose wood control its mechanical properties

To expand the uses and efficient utilization of wood, Forest Service researchers strive to learn how manipulate its molecular-scale structure t ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph Jakes

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2017FPL
Photo of Researchers are studying soy-based adhesives for wood products. Steve Schmeiding, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 964
Using Soybeans to Replace Synthetic Adhesives for Wood Bonding

Soybeans were used to glue the first plywood but were replaced by fossil-fuel-based adhesives after World War II. Scientists at the Forest Servi ...

Principal Investigator : Charles R. Frihart

Resource Management and Use2016FPL
Photo of (left) X-ray computed tomography (XCT) volume reconstructions of BrPF resins in bondlines. (right) X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) Br maps of transverse sections cut from BrPF bondlines.
ID: 1510
X-Ray Methods to Observe and Quantify Adhesive Penetration into Wood

To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, researchers are working to understand the optimal adh ...

Principal Investigator : Daniel J. Yelle

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2018FPL