OSU a partner in new $2.2M center for wood-based materials
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Fred Kamke, Oregon State University
Oregon State University announced Tuesday it was chosen along with Virginia Tech to lead a new $2.2 million National Science Foundation-funded research center focused on environmentally friendly wood-based composite materials.
The five-year research initiative will involve six faculty members and three graduate students per year at OSU and a similar team at Virginia Tech.
The groups will facilitate collaborative work with eight private companies, including Arclin, Ashland Inc., Jeld-Wen, Hexion Specialty Chemical Inc., Henkel, Weyerhaeuser Co. and Willamette Valley Co.
The companies will pay $30,000 each to support the program.
In addition to the corporate support, the National Science Foundation will provide $130,000 per year in a five-year, renewable grant. The Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center, or Oregon BEST, provided $75,000 in matching funds toward its goal of enhancing green building technologies in Oregon.
Oregon BEST also recently provided startup funds to OSU to establish the Green Building Materials Laboratory.
Fred Kamke, professor of wood science at engineering at the OSU College of Forestry, will be the site director for the new center, called the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.
"OSU and Virginia Tech are both international leaders in wood science and technology, and this major new initiative will build on those strengths," Kamke said in a news release. "Composite products allow for more efficient, sophisticated and competitive uses of wood, and they’re the future of the wood products industry."
Research will focus on renewable, environmentally benign versions of wood composites such as laminated veneer lumber and improved types of wood adhesives. One of the first projects to be performed at OSU will investigate the durability of adhesive bonds using advanced technology and numerical modeling techniques.
Most of the research will be done at either OSU or Virginia Tech, but some projects will also be subcontracted to other partner universities, Kamke said, including the University of British Columbia and the University of Maine.
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