University of Minnesota Duluth
Natural Resources Research Institute - CARTD
Wood Materials and Manufacturing Program
5013 Miller Trunk Highway
Duluth, MN 55811-1442
Thermal modification is an emerging, chemical-free technology that can upgrade low-value, small-diameter sawlogs. It involves the controlled heating of lumber in a low- or no-oxygen environment, imparting advantageous properties in most species of hardwoods and softwoods, including increased moisture resistance, improved dimensional stability, and increased resistance to degradation from rot-inducing fungi.
This project will advance wood thermal-modification technology toward the development of high-performance and sustainable value-added wood products with dramatically improved dimensional stability, resistance to biodeterioration and weathering, extended service life, and reduced environmental impacts. Species of interest are white ash (Fraxinus americana), red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea).
1. Define product performance benchmarks by identifying mechanical, physical, and biological durability performance targets for the selected thermally-modified materials.
2. Develop effective thermal-modification treatment schedules for each species. Species of interest are white ash (Fraxinus americana), red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea).
3. Transfer knowledge concerning performance benchmarks and thermal-modification treatments to stakeholders, including those in commercial and other building markets.
WERC Project Management Information System (WERC-PMIS)
Version 2.0.07 released on 1/12/2022. (Database last updated 2/13/2022 by Patrick Rappold.)
USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, National Information Center