New prototype plywood panels may be world's largest

November 29, 2016
A Mass Plywood Panel made by Freres Lumber Company undergoes testing at Oregon State University's Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. Credit: Oregon State University

A new massive plywood building panel developed by an Oregon company and tested at Oregon State University may be the largest such product ever manufactured.

Builders are familiar with standard plywood sheets that measure 4-feet wide, 8-feet long and between a quarter-inch and more than one-inch thick. The new panels made by the Freres Lumber Company of Lyons, Oregon, can be as much 12-feet wide, 48-feet long and 2-feet thick.

The company announced its new panels in October, capping more than a year of development and performance testing at Oregon State's Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. "The results look very promising," said Ari Sinha, assistant professor in OSU's College of Forestry, who oversaw the tests. "This is a unique product with the potential for creating jobs in rural Oregon."

Versatility is one of the benefits of the product known as a Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). "These panels can be customized for different applications. Because they have very good compression qualities, they could be used for columns as well as panels," said Sinha.

The veneer manufacturing process enables manufacturers to orient wood grain and to distribute the defects found in smaller trees, such as knots, in a way that maintains the strength of the final product, Sinha added.

Tests in Sinha's lab focused on the panels' structural and physical properties such as density, adhesive bonding and resistance to the kinds of vertical and horizontal stresses experienced in an earthquake. Additional tests are planned after the first of the year.

Mass Plywood Panels can achieve the performance characteristics of a similar product known as Cross Laminated Timber panels with 20 to 30 percent less wood.

"The market is wide enough that this product can compete in niche applications," said Sinha. "MPP can be made to order."

Sinha's lab conducts wood-product testing year-around for companies in Oregon, Washington and other states. He evaluates connections between building components as well as component stresses stemming from wind, earthquakes and other forces.

Explore further: Video: On the cutting edge of composite product development

Related Stories

Video: On the cutting edge of composite product development

October 12, 2016

University of Maine wood scientists and engineers are evaluating the performance of cross-laminated timber (CLT) made from solid-sawn and composite lumber from trees grown in Maine and the northeastern U.S. In the 1990s, ...

Sharp's solar panels throw posh light on city high-rise

September 27, 2012

(Phys.org)—Yet another eco-conscious announcement from Japan for residents of Japan: Sharp has announced a solar panel of a semi transparent nature for mounting on balcony railings or high-rise windows. These are semi-transparent ...

Transparent wood made stronger than glass by applying epoxy

May 19, 2016

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers at the University of Maryland has taken the idea of making wood transparent one better, by making it stronger than glass and thus more useful for a variety of applications. In their paper ...

CASE coconut building panels on display in Ghana

September 22, 2016

Building panels made of upcycled coconut husks made a statement at the Chalewote Street Art Festival in Accra, Ghana, this summer. A kiosk constructed of the panels was featured in an online video report by MeshTV in Ghana.

Recommended for you

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

October 17, 2017

Dutch officials toasted on Tuesday the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.