A field test of six millwork preservatives has been ongoing for twenty years, using a simulated window corner, or "Y-joint", as the test unit. Three preservatives provided excellent protection to white pine and white spruce: 5% pentachlorophenol in varsol, phenyl mercury oleate in varsol, and 0.75% oxine copper in varsol.
The objective of this initiative is to re-evaluate Forintek's research strategy and the Canadian Wood Council's technology transfer strategy in durability of wood products and systems in the light of changing industrial, regulatory, environmental, and social factors. Forintek and the CWC chose to undertake this process jointly, in order to develop well-matched parallel activities that are mutually supportive and grounded in common underlying objectives. In this way, both organizations can most effectively and efficiently address our members' needs in an area of growing challenges for the wood industry.
The first step in the strategic planning process was the creation of a joint CWC/Forintek Durability Guidance Group. This group was canvassed for input on high priority issues related to wood durability. Forintek and CWC then developed ideas for deliverables or tasks in research and technology transfer, respectively. At this stage we are looking for input on the degree to which this draft strategy addresses industry needs.
FERIC a étudié trois systèmes de récolte en coupe totale afin d'établir des productivités et des coûts spécifiques aux conditions de récolte en forêt mixte. Des systèmes mécanisés par arbres entiers et par bois tronçonnés ainsi qu'un système manuel ont fait l'objet d'observations en forêt mixte et les productivités obtenues ont été comparées aux productivités normalement rencontrées en forêt résineuse. Les trois systèmes ont donné des productivités moins élevées en forêt mixte qu'en forêt résineuse, à volume comparable par tige. Le coût total de récolte, incluant le coût de chargement, était plus élevé q'en forêt résineuse. Le système manuel est celui qui a subi la plus forte hausse de coût. L'abattage, l'ébranchage, le façonnage et le chargement ont été les activités touchées par la hausse de coût, pour un volume par tige et un nombre de tiges à l'hectare comparables. En réalité, le volume moyen par tige en forêt mixte est souvent supérieur à celui en forêt résineuse et le coût moyen de récolte devient alors comparable.
In 1997, FERIC studied a partial cutting operation in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock biogeoclimate zone, on a site west of Kitwanga, B.C. The operation used a Skylead C40 16000 skidder-mounted yarder and Mini-Maki II radio-controlled carriage in a standing skyline configuration and in single-and multi-span applications. The study provided information on productivity and costs for the harvesting system, impact on soil surface conditions, and damage to the residual stand. Productivity functions were derived to predict yarding productivity and costs over a range of operation conditions.
FERIC studied three harvesting systems in clearcut operations to define their specific productivities and costs under the harvesting conditions typical of mixedwood forest; the systems comprised mechanized full-tree and cut-to-length systems, as well as manual system. FERIC compared their productivities with those typically observed in softwood stands and found that all three systems had lower productivities in mixedwood forest than in softwood forest at comparable stem volumes. The total harvesting cost, including the cost of loading, was higher than in softwood forest, and the manual system showed the greatest cost increase. Felling, delimbing, processing, and loading costs all increased for comparable volumes per stem and numbers of stems per hectare; however, since the average volume per stem is often greater in mixedwood forest than in softwood forest, the actual overall harvesting costs become comparable.
In 1997, FERIC, Alberta Research Council (ARC), Ainsworth Lumber Inc., and Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. conducted a study to determine the productivities and costs of various methods of managing logging debris in aspen cutblocks. Conventional roadside processing, two in-block processing treatments (intermediate skid and at-the-stump processing), and roadside processing with subsequent dispersal of slash into the block were assessed.
During the last decades, Engineered Wood Flooring and Laminated Flooring experienced dramatic increase in demand from consumers in Europe and Asia, and those two products have taken large market share to the traditional hardwood strip flooring and to other floor covering material like textile, vinyl, etc. In North America, these new multi-layer parquets are just taking off, in 1997, Engineered Wood Flooring share of hardwood flooring was 34% and growing fast. This compares with a market share of 67% in Europe. There appears to be much room for growth in North America. The rapid increase of hardwood flooring products in the world in recent years associated with the decrease of available hardwood raw material made the multi-layer and laminated flooring products interesting alternatives for the hardwood flooring industry. Canada is an important supplier of the hardwood raw material for the European production of both hardwood and EW Floorings. Since some volumes of EWF production from Europe are exported to North America, we do not see any reason why they should not be manufactured in Canada with a competitive advantage. The window of opportunity is there to be exploited.
High Pressure Laminate flooring, a composite product made of High Density Fiberboard (HDF) overlaid by coated paper and presenting a very high-resistance surface finish, is also growing very fast in the U.S. The focus was less on this product in this report since contrarily to EWF, HPL flooring is already being produced in Canada. Also a high capacity for manufacturing this product is currently being built in S-E Asia and in China and we know these countries are low-cost producers, very hard to compete with.
Standards and methods for testing such products were reviewed. It was observed that the European market is very much standard driven, German standards leading the way in that respect. North American are more driven by "lifetime limited warranties”, although some voluntary standards have been defined by the industry. In any case, all testing methods that were observed in these standards can be performed in Forintek materials testing laboratories.
The main problems associated with such products are certainly their negative reaction to variation of moisture content. In this report, methods for predicting those reactions were elaborated in terms of quality of construction and performance. More specifically, testing methods were defined, tried and found to be effective to test surface planeity, gap formation associated with shrinkage and cupping. A process quality control method was also proposed to help eventual producers to control their gluing process. Certainly more research needs to be done to find the best parameters in terms of products and methods of production to develop high quality products that consumers will like to use in their home. Additional research is also required in order to find which backing and core materials could provide the future Canadian EWF industry a sustainable competitive advantage.