The wood-based composites research program at the University of Minnesota was started in the mid 1960s in response to a growing interest for establishing a waferboard industry in Minnesota and an increasing number of requests for technical information from the existing fiberboard industry and users of particleboard and hardboard. The program, which started with almost no laboratory space or manufacturing and testing equipment, has evolved into a state-of-the art research facility with a twenty five year history of productive research and graduate education.
Our current wood-based composite products research program is comprised of five areas of concentration:
improved utilization of underutilized species;
development of new and improved composite products and manufacturing processes;
evaluating and improving the performance of wood-based composite panels in residential housing;
fundamental studies of wood and material interactions applicable to wood-based composites;
preservative treated wood-based composites.
Wood-based composites research, broadly speaking, is a many-faceted endeavor and therefore often involves cooperative efforts with other faculty and staff both from within and outside the Department of Forest Products. This provides a graduate student with a unique opportunity to expand his or her intellectual horizons and research experiences in wood science and technology.