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Oregon State University: Open Minds, Open Doors.
Rakesh Gupta   OWIC News
  • Assessing Tornado Damage: Dr. Rakesh Gupta and colleagues visited Tuscaloosa, AL and Joplin, MO following the tornados of spring 2011. The purpose of their visits was to collect data on building damage after the worst and deadliest tornados in several decades. It is hypothesized that damage can be minimized through engineering structural design of a continuous load path. The team donated their time to this effort and received partial support covering travel related costs from the National Science Foundation and the International Association of Wind Engineering. To see a brief trip report including photos of damaged structures, click here. For more information, see the OSU News & Communication press release


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The Oregon Wood Innovation Center


 
 

What's New?

Announcing a new web-based version of our shrink-swell calculator for wood. Users can compare the amount of expected dimensional change for 2 North American hardwoods or softwoods based on initial and final moisture content (or temperature and humidity), size of the piece, and grain orientation (flatsawn, quartersawn, or mixed grain). Click here to try it out.


 

OWIC Impact


Results of Technical Assistance Projects:
  • Mike Milota assisted an Oregon wood products firm by evaluating their dry kiln. By following his advice, the company was able to obtain 3 new major customers – these new customers distribute the firm’s products to nearly 400 retail outlets. Further, the increased sales resulted in the company increasing employment from 6 to 11 full time employees.
  • Screw withdrawal testing for ceiling panels - we assisted 9Wood by measuring screw pullout strength in particleboard core ceiling panels. Screws were inserted into particleboard using a variety of screw gun clutch settings, depths of insertion, a nd with and without pilot holes. As a result, 9Wood has created an industry leading quality control system using a new torque meter that calibrates drill gun settings very accurately in inch-pounds of torque. Other projects for 9Wood have included:
  • "As Pacific Northwest lumber wholesalers with a primary focus on industrial hardwoods, we find this data [referring to the Oregon wood species page] extremely helpful. In the past I have referred customers to your site for general information on Northwest species...Sure appreciate the resource that OSU provides!"
  • Report on mechanical properties of second growth hemlock - "My efforts to put together a contract were greatly enhanced through the report you provided... [it] absolutely made a difference in our customer's decision to purchase USA produced Lumber. We are a firm believer in providing our trading partners with honest and verified answers and that we have at our access an entity such as Oregon State University, where sourcing detailed answers in reply to queries of this magnitude and significance, is an absolute essential vehicle to assist in overseas trading. ...the assistance we find with your information and resources, plays a major role in our efforts to compete on a world market scale." The estimated value of this contract is $200,000 per month.
  • Determination of mechanical and physical properties of Pacific albus (hybrid poplar) - The company used test data to develop a ‘spec sheet’ for the species as part of their market development efforts.
  • Mechanical testing of black cottonwood - results enabled the sponsor company to obtain a tenfold increase in sales of the species.
  • Seismic testing of wood shelving units - the firm was interested in marketing wood wine racks with improved characteristics to Southern California retailers. The company is using test results in their product literature.
  • Market assessment to evaluate hardwood plywood industry professionals’ acceptance of plantation-grown black walnut - The sponsor company stated, “We have used your report internally, in order to show investors and potential investors that plantation grown black walnut can be as desirable as wild black walnut. This is an important issue for us, since our business consists of growing black walnut in clonal plantings.”
Comments from users of the Oregon Forest Industry Directory:
  • "I've received 4 orders for a total of $10K-$12K thanks to my listing in your directory"
  • "This directory has served us so well I can not even to begin to explain all the contacts we have received. For example, private landowners wanting to log their hardwood forest in our area (three sales)… For log procurement this has been a great thing"
  • "I've been listed in the directory for quite sometime now and have experienced at least a 15% increase in business due to the directory. I have picked up numerous contracts/sales that I would not have received had I not been listed with the directory."
  • "I received a 'hit' today on my listing. [The person] noticed that I had some Oregon white oak and is interested in as many as 3 log truck loads. He is willing to pay $400 per thousand and he will pick them up on the landing plus pay the haul. Also, he has customers for good clear noble fir lumber for use in musical instrument sound boards."

 
 

Oregon State University’s College of Forestry and Extension Service have teamed up to create the Oregon Wood Innovation Center (OWIC). OWIC’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of Oregon’s wood products industry by fostering innovation in products, processes, and business systems. A key function of the Center is to serve as the primary link between university research and needs and opportunities in the forest industry. Click here for more information about our facilities and services.

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