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Densified Engineered Wood Flooring for Heavy-Duty UseCompleted

Project leaders: Cloutier, Alain, Blanchet, Pierre


High-density wood is required for the manufacturing of flooring, particularly engineered wood flooring (EWF) intended for heavy-duty use in places such as shopping malls and staircases. However, high-quality, high-density hardwoods are expensive and increasingly rare because they are often tropical species. Low- to medium-density woods can be densified using a new densification treatment called thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) densification. This treatment has been studied by researchers, including our team, in several past research projects and shows very good potential. The THM treatment does not involve the use of polymers. Densification is achieved by pressing at temperatures in the order of 160 to 200C in the presence of steam. This technique at least doubles the density of the wood and increases its mechanical properties very significantly while at the same time limiting springback when the wood comes in contact with water in liquid or vapour form. The objectives of the project are therefore to 1) develop a THM densification process suitable for thin sugar maple and red oak lumber (5 to 6 mm thick) based on the experience that we acquired in a previous project, and evaluate the dimensional stability and mechanical properties (Brinell hardness) of the densified thin lumber that is obtained; and 2) use the densified thin lumber as a wear layer for EWF prototypes for heavy-duty use, and evaluate the final product’s dimensional stability and finishability.

Start date: 2010-04-01 End date: 2011-03-31



For more information on this project, please contact:

Cloutier, Alain
Laval University
Email: Alain.Cloutier@sbf.ulaval.ca
Telephone: (418) 656-5851
Fax: (418) 656-5263
Blanchet, Pierre
Email: pierre.blanchet@fpinnovations.ca
Telephone: (418) 659-2647
Fax: (418) 659-2922
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