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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pilot Level Improvement in Forest Products Evaluation Standards and Techniques

Location: Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Project Number: 0202-11000-001-56-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2014
End Date: Jun 30, 2018

The focus area of this project will be that of evaluation, testing, and adding value to southern pine softwood lumber processing, developing novel products and markets, and enhancing the service performance and life of pine wood products. This pilot project addresses the critical objectives of employment in rural economies, maintaining and improving timberland values, providing domestic biobased materials for housing construction, and stewardship of natural resources through improved uniformity in timber products evaluation. Specific objectives are to identify, research, investigate, and develop new and innovative techniques for evaluating southern pine commodity and/or industrial lumber performance properties for use in construction and potentially other engineered wood applications, as well as enhancing the service life and performance of products, developing new engineered products, and markets, as a means of improving and maintaining timberland value and timber conversion-related jobs throughout the gulf south region of the USA.

Design a pilot-level randomized sampling scheme for small clear wood specimens and in-grade pine lumber from the region. To the extent possible, include timber resource, log size information / mill characteristics in sampling scheme. Sample and mechanically evaluate small clear samples and lumber from the southern pine region. It is intended that commodity lumber from 10 to 20 mills will be studied. A greater or lesser number of mills may be included based on logistics. Measure and test samples based on appropriate ASTM standards and evaluation techniques as well as novel non-destructive technology. Develop and test novel laminated engineered products as well as innovative processes to enhance marketing, performance, and durability of wood based products. Cooperate with USDA Forest Products Laboratory as a technical advisor. Investigate the potential economic implications associated with novel grading or evaluation technologies. Investigate the technical and economic impacts of implementing a stress-class system of lumber grading and valuation.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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