FPInnovations’ 2016-2017 Annual Operating Plan introduced the concept of Innovation Engine (IE), a newly defined space within FPInnovations’ R&D activities which targets the generation or in-sourcing of new concepts and opportunities where the value proposition or concept is not yet clearly defined. One of this year’s projects financed as part of the IE program may be of great interest to the OSB manufacturing sector.
While evaluating strand efficiency as part of another project, FPInnovations’ Engineered Wood Products (EWP) scientists recently stumbled upon a potentially game-changing, novel way of forming the strand mat. If proven satisfactory, this new layering could dramatically speed up resin curing and reduce hot-press time requirements. By screening strands into several specific size classifications and then layering them in descending order of size from the outsides (faces) to the centre (core) of a mat, pilot scale tests found that this configuration significantly quickens the convection heating of the mat core with potential to accelerate curing speed.
From these preliminary observations, a group of FPInnovations employees have been performing additional pilot tests in December. The production of 3×3 ft. OSB samples will help determine if these panels could meet regulatory requirements with regard to mechanical properties as well as understand how a modified layering could increase permeability while reducing curing time, therefore generating money savings. Additional testing on a larger basis could eventually be performed if tests prove satisfactory.
For more information, please contact Kevin Groves, Senior Scientist of FPInnovations’ EWP Manufacturing group.