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Posts tagged: Forest Products Laboratory

Forest Products Lab Hosts Important Wood-to-Energy Roundtable with Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer

Arthur “Butch” Blazer, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, paid a visit to the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wis., recently to convene an important roundtable discussion on wood-to-energy concerns in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Among the participants were wood scientists and technology transfer authorities from FPL and Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, representatives from the logging and paper industries, academics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Resource Center, state natural resources officials, and other national and regional Forest Service officials. Read more »

Under Pressure at the Forest Products Lab

The largest wood beams ever tested are being studied at the US Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wis. If you’ve ever wondered what 80,000 pounds of load looks or sounds like when applied to a 72-foot-long, 3-ton wood beam, now’s your chance. Bam! View this short video to get a sense of both the size of these glulam beams and the engineering acumen on display at the FPL. Hint: keep the volume up around the :53 second mark.

Glued laminated (glulam) timbers are a manufactured wood product composed of layers of sawn lumber glued together. Glulam beams are typically used in commercial construction to span large open areas, such as in churches or sporting arenas. They make for both an aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound option.

The FPL is one of the few locations worldwide that has the capacity to test such large wood specimens.  As FPL engineer Doug Rammer explains, that capability is key to determining their strength. Read more »

US Forest Service Scientist Awarded High Honor by President Obama


President Obama has named Dr. Samuel L. Zelinka, a U.S. Forest Service scientist, as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. This year Dr. Zelinka joins 93 other scientists and researchers in the annual award.


Dr. Samuel L. Zelinka of the USDA Forest Products Lab

Dr. Samuel L. Zelinka of the USDA Forest Products Lab


Dr. Zelinka works at the U.S. Forest Services world renowned Forest Products Lab (FPL), in Madison, WI. His expertise is in corrosion of metal fasteners in wood, electrical properties of wood and research on wood-moisture relations. Read more »

US Forest Service Helps Young Adults Bring Awareness to National Forests Though a Cross-Country Adventure

The original slogan of the trekking group GreenXC read: Share a Ride, Tell a Story, Save a Park. Now they added and a National Forest (as in the U.S. Forest Service). This is because these young folks (all under 30), embarking on this bold transnational ride-share journey that departs July 27th, have broadened the focus of its environmental protection campaign to include the myriad of issues facing the U.S. Forest Service and the national forest system.

One of their stops will include the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, in Madison, WI. The group will tour the world renowned lab and learn a great deal about the science of forestry. Aside from driving through many northern forests including the Gallatin, north of Yellowstone, and Mt Hood in OR, GreenXC will visit in California the oldest living and tallest trees in the world at the Inyo and Sequoia national forests respectively. Read more »

Baseball bats are safer thanks to the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab

Baseball fans thrill at the thought of hearing a bat crack. But seeing an actual bat shatter is not one of those thrills. That’s because this seemingly harmless wood breaking can be dangerous for the players and fans and is the reason that the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab has worked for several years to improve the strength of wooden bats.

The Products Lab’s efforts have not been in vain. Since Major League Baseball’s partnership with the Forest Service began in 2008 there has been an astonishing 50 percent reduction in multiple-piece failure rates in bats. Read more »

High Wood Product Output Doesn’t Correlate to Higher Carbon Emissions According to US Forest Service Research

A study by researchers at the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory shows that the lowest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions occur in global regions with the highest rates of forest product output.

Counter intuitively global regions with the highest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions rank lowest in forest product output or what is referred to technically as industrial roundwood harvest. Read more »