Wood Products Technical Services
The Hodges Wood Products Laboratory provides technical services involving various aspects of wood chemistry and wood utilization. Assistance ranges from informal talks and tours for civic and professional groups to detailed analysis of technical and production problems, supplemented with testing of materials and wood utilization techniques.
Laboratory testing and evaluations services include:
- Conditioning samples: Cabinet sized chambers, as well as walk-in rooms, are available for conditioning specimens at a variety of temperature and relative humidity conditions.
- ASTM tests: All standard physical and mechanical ASTM tests for solid wood and engineered panel composites can be conducted and the results analyzed.
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) tests: Equipment is available to conduct all NEMA-specified tests on high pressure laminates and laminated panels. We frequently evaluate new surface materials and test methods.
- Laminate flooring testing: Stability, abrasion resistance, and mechanical and physical tests are available for laminate flooring. Note: we are heavily involved with the continuing development of standards for this industry.
- Troubleshooting: Products are often submitted for evaluation of defective or failed wood products. We can evaluate failures and recommend necessary corrective actions.
- Kiln drying of lumber: Conventional and high-temperature drying of lumber can be performed in either a 1000-board-foot masonry kiln or a 1500-board-foot aluminum kiln. The masonry kiln can accommodate a lumber stack 12 feet long, 4 feet wide, 4.5 feet high. The aluminum kiln can accommodate a lumber stack 8 feet long, 8 feet wide, 4 feet high.
- Testing of the mechanical properties of wood products: Computer controlled servomechanical and hydraulic testing equipment allowing static and dynamic tests is available for the testing of structural materials, connections and furniture parts. We are an OSHA-certified laboratory.
- Wood identification: We offer a computer-aided wood identification package using the GUESS (PC and Mac) programs accompanied by databases computerized at NCSU. The hardwood database has over 5000 entries. Our manual includes descriptions and 130 photographs of features useful in hardwood and softwood identification.
- Wood machining and Surface Quality Assessment: The Hodges laboratory is well equipped to conduct complete machinability tests on wood and tooling including evaluation of tool designs and tool materials. In addition, work piece materials can be evaluated as to their abrasiveness and the resultant product quality. Experimental determination of acceptable machining parameters can also be determined for a variety of workpiece materials and machining operations. Analytical equipment includes: a CNC two axis optical surface assessment system, video optical microscope, tool material integrity evaluation system, as well as a variety of acoustic emission and vibration analysis equipment.