Because Chinese tallow tree grows rapidly, has seeds rich in oils, abundant flowers, and colorful fall foliage, it has been widely planted both as an ornamental and a crop across the Southeast. Now considered a noxious pest by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the plant has become a serious problem in east Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, where is establishes dense stands that quickly out compete most other tree species
The rapid expansion of the Chinese tallow tree into Southern forests has lead to a call to investigate its possible uses in the forest products industry. “The low density and light color of the wood make it an ideal candidate for producing composite panels, especially oriented strandboard, medium density fiberboard and particleboard,” said Les Groom, project leader for the SRS Utilization of Southern Forest Resources unit in Pineville, LA, and co-author of the article with SRS research scientist Tom Eberhardt and technologist Chung Hse.
“One of the barriers to using Chinese tallow tree for composites has been the fear that by developing an industrial use for the plant we would be encouraging people to plant more of it,” Groom continued. “But if it performs well as the sole material for composite panels, it should also perform well when mixed with other species. So, if mixed stands of trees are harvested commercially for use in composites, the Chinese tallow tree in the stand could be added in without affecting product quality.”
Using standard industrial methods, the researchers produced three types of panels-flakeboard, particleboard, and fiberboard-and tested them for various mechanical and physical properties. Chinese tallow tree tested up to standards for all three panel types, with the wood’s relatively low density and high compaction ratio adding to its potential. “We have heard anecdotally that buyers prefer brightly colored panels, so the light color of Chinese tallow tree might also work to its advantage,” said Groom, who emphasized that the studies were preliminary, and that more research is needed on the basic anatomical, chemical, mechanical, and physical properties of the species.
“Most research has focused on eradicating this plant rather than using it,” said Groom. “Finding a commercial use for Chinese tallow tree could actually underwrite efforts to control it.For more information:
Les Groom | EurekAlert!
Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy