Applied Research   Laboratory Testing   Pilot Plant

Much of the hands-on work required to conduct our research is done in our Pilot Plant facilities, which contains composite panel blending and pressing equipment, a pressure treating cylinder, conditioning rooms, universal testing machines, ovens, an environmental chamber, machining equipment and tools.
Composite Manufacture: Testing the effectiveness of experimental wood preservatives in composites often requires us to manufacture the composites and add the preservative to the product during the manufacturing process.

Wood Composite Panel Manufacture

WOOD COMPOSITE MANUFACTURE PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM


Wood and Metal Machining Equipment

Most test specimens are cut on the band saw, although larger pieces may require using the table saw or miter saw. A joiner is also available. For making metal jigs, or other hardware a metal-cutting bandsaw, shaper, power hacksaw, drill press, lathe, and welders are used. A well stocked tool room contains an assortment of hand power tools, bits and fasteners. MACHINE The band saw is shown here in the foreground, the table saw in the background.


Blending Equipment

Our 2'8" x 4' diameter blender rotates to effectively blends up to 20 lbs of wood strands with resin, wax and preservative additives for pressing into composite panels. Liquid additives are sprayed from compressed air pressurized canisters through Devilbiss spray guns, while powdered additives are metered into the blend by hand, allowing the tumbling action of the furnish to distribute it evenly. BLENDING


Pressing Equipment

Our 18x18 inch (46x46 cm) electrically heated hot press can create up to 2000 psi hydraulic pressure to press composite panels to their target thickness. Removable stops are used to control the panel thickness. Manual pressure valves allow for accurate control of the closing and opening sequences. A high-volume exhaust hood removes steam and fumes created during the press cycle.
PRESS


Flake Drying Equipment

Flake dryer explanation DRYER


Environmental Chamber

Environmental chamber explanation ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMBER


Pressure Vessel

Pressure vessel explanation PRESSURE VESSEL


Conditioning Room #1

Conditioning room #1 explanation Conditioning room #1


Conditioning Room #2

Conditioning room #2 explanation Conditioning room #2


Internal Bond Gluing Station

Internal bond gluing explanation INTERNAL BOND GLUING STATION


Mechanical Properties Lab

Mechanical properties lab explanation MECHANICAL PROPERTIES LAB