Engineered Wood Composite Materials Development and Testing
The Engineered Composites program has a proven track record in developing and applying technologies using highly-skilled personnel and specialized panel manufacturing equipment.
We assist our domestic and international clients to test and validate technologies or processes that help them improve product performance, lower production costs, and take new products to markets.
The team is dedicated to client satisfaction with a long history and reputation for delivering consistent results and good value while offering a great degree of flexibility in project execution.
Partners for over twenty years, InnoTech Alberta has worked with FPInnovations (previously Forintek) to develop technologies that support and advance the Canadian OSB industry.
Members of the OSB consortium provide guidance on the research program and implement the technology developed. The Government of Alberta is an active partner of FPInnovations.
Panel Pilot Plant
The Engineered Composites panel pilot plant has routinely introduced new capabilities that allow simulation of the operating environments of the most modern mills. It is one of the most highly automated and sophisticated panel development laboratories in North America.
The panel pilot plant is harmonized with industry to advance innovation and serving as a valuable partner in the drive for quality and efficiency. Specialized equipment is operated by skilled and experienced personnel, allowing customers to replicate and/or simulate a variety of production environments.
Panel pilot plant product capability
- Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
- Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL)
- Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL)
- Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL)
- Container flooring
- Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)
- High Density Fibreboard (HDF)
- Fibre insulation board
- Laminated products
- Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)
- Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)
- Resin and wax evaluation
- Fire retardants
- Release agents
- Overlays, embossing
- Process improvements
- New product development
- Wood carbonization
Major pilot plant equipment
- Two 34 x 34 inch presses, oil and steam heated, up to 780 psi specific mat pressure
- 5 x 9 foot press, oil heated, up to 1000 psi specific mat pressure
- All presses have capability for low pressure mat steam preheating. High pressure is available for special steam injection projects.
- The PressMANTMsystem developed by Engineered Composites is used for control, data acquisition, and visual display. This system allows for press cycle programming control and monitoring of pressing variables in real time. The system uses specially designed temperature and pressure probes for measuring internal mat temperature and gas pressure during pressing.
- 10 foot programmable beam saw
- Large cavity 915 MHz microwave can accept up to 5 x 9 foot mat or billet
- Log debarker
- Wood strander capacity to 6 inch long
- Large capacity deck screener
- Drum blenders, 4 x 8 foot and 5 x 10 foot with dual Coil atomizers and spray systems
- Paddle particleboard blender
- Large volume drying capability
- Automated Spray Systems 34 inch wide release spray line
- 60 inch glue spreader used for plywood, LVL, CLT
- Various fibre size reduction equipment
- MDF, 32 inch refining system
OSB large scale pilot line
The Engineered Composites panel pilot plant is equipped with a full range of machinery designed to handle the processing requirements of a variety of wood composite panel products. The highly automated OSB forming line with 5 × 9 foot press is the only R&D facility of its kind in North America, offering unique scale-up capability.
OSB and OSL mats are mechanically formed using a centralized control system. Mat depth can be made to the maximum 23 inch opening of the 5 x 9 foot press.
MDF refiner pilot plant
Engineered Composites has developed capability in MDF fibre production. The 32 inch pressurized refiner is capable of producing fibre from a range of wood, annual crops, and other plant feedstocks. Refining is coupled with a blow line that is equipped with resin and chemical injection to reproduce conditions in a full scale plant. Drying of the fibre is accomplished through a 90 meter long flash tube.
In addition to blow line blending of resins and chemicals, the pilot plant has developed capability to apply resins and chemicals to refined dried fibre (dry fibre resin application system). This additional flexibility allows more test runs per day and the opportunity to use fibre produced from other sources.
Product Evaluation Testing Laboratory
The product evaluation testing laboratory is fully equipped to perform all common testing as well as some non-standard tests for wood and other composites, structural panels and laminated products.
Capabilities and equipment
- Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited testing facility
- CSA, ASTM, ANSI, JAS, JIS, EN, CCMC, Chinese standard
- 4 x 8 foot panel density measurement using a unique X-ray scanning machine
- QMS vertical density profiler for small specimens
- Three Instron universal testing machines, 5kN up to 100kN
- Demco concentrated static and impact loading (CSL & CIL)
- Edgewise shear tester
- Two environmental conditioning chambers
- Walk-in oven and small sample ovens
- Boil, steam, and soak tanks
- Thermal conductivity testing instrument used for evaluating wood fibre insulation board and other composite insulating materials
- Thickness sander
- Thickness planer