The course series modules include:

  • Wood Structure

Instructor: Fred Kamke (Oregon State University; fred.kamke@oregonstate.edu)

This course introduces the macro- and micro-structure of wood. It focuses on the practical implications of anatomical structure in the field of wood-based composites. Many wood species are discussed, but limited to species of commercial importance in North America. Examples include species that are commonly used in the manufacture of wood-based composites. Many photomicrographs and animations are used to illustrate concepts. Anatomical features of wood are discussed in relation to wood properties, such as density, permeability, and bending modulus. Understanding how and why wood behaves the way that it does is critical for efficient processing, troubleshooting, and product performance

  1. Introduction
  2. Cell wall structure
  3. Chemical composition
  4. Softwood structure
  5. Hardwood structure
  6. Identification
  7. Juvenile wood and reaction wood
  8. Structure – property relationships
  • Wood and Water Relationships

Instructor: Scott Leavengood (Oregon State University; scott.leavengood@oregonstate.edu)

This course describes the interactions of wood and water and the effect on a number of properties – shrinking and swelling in particular. The course begins with lectures on gas behavior and humidity. This information serves as background for understanding interactions between temperature and humidity, and their impact on wood behavior. The information on wood and water relations is divided into two lectures. The first presents a review of wood structure, how wood holds water, how we calculate moisture content, why wood shrinks and swells, and how wood’s moisture content changes with changes in temperature and humidity. The second lecture on wood and water relations focuses on shrinking and swelling. Solid wood is presented first followed by unique issues with composite wood products such as restraint due to cross-lamination, the impact of densification, and variability in density. The course also includes information on common methods and tools used for measuring moisture content.

  1. Introduction
  2. How gases behave
  3. Humidity
  4. Wood and water relations A
  5. Wood and water relations B
  6. Measurement of moisture in wood
  • Applied Statistics and Data Analysis

Instructors: Chris Knowles (Oregon State University; chris.knowles@oregonstate.edu) and William Boehner (formerly Weyerhaeuser Company; Oregon State University; awilliamboehner@cableone.net)

This course introduces students to applied statistics and data analysis with a focus on the practical implications of statistics in the field of wood-based composites. The course will prepare the student to collect and analyze data using basic statistical tools. Students will learn how to compute and interpret basic descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation. Students will also learn how to compare means from different samples using t-tests and ANOVA and how to interpret the results of those tests. Understanding how and why to collect data and analyze data is critical for quality control, troubleshooting, and product performance.

  1. Introduction
  2. Sampling
  3. Plotting
  4. Basic statistics
  5. Determining normality
  6. t-tests
  7. ANOVA
  8. Distributions
  • Wood Adhesion Science and Technology

Instructor: Charles (Chip) Frazier (Virginia Tech; cfrazier@vt.edu)

Introduction to adhesion science and technology with an introduction to basic chemical concepts, surface chemistry, polymer science, polymer analysis, and also to some commercially significant wood adhesives and topics specific to those adhesives.

  1. Introduction to Adhesion
  2. Chemical Introduction
  3. Intermolecular Forces
  4. Surface Chemistry
  5. Organic Reactivity
  6. Polymer Analysis
  7. Polymer Science-I
  8. Polymer Science-II
  9. Theories of Adhesion
  10. Adhesive Strength Development
  11. Adhesives and Applications
  12. Wood Factors that Impact Bonding
  • Strand-based Composite Manufacturing

Instructor: William (Bill) Boehner (formerly Weyerhaeuser Company; Oregon State University; awilliamboehner@cableone.net)

This course covers the manufacturing of strand-based composites (OSB and LSL) beginning in the forest and continuing through pressing as outlined below. Within each lecture, key variables that affect the quality of the intermediate product, such as a strand, as well as the finished panel product are identified and discussed. Results of scientific studies and a mill trial are presented to support conclusions. 

  1. Introduction
  2. Initial considerations – species and wood quality
  3. Green end, Part 1 – trees, logs, and storage
  4. Green end, Part 2 – log preparation, debarking, and stranding
  5. Drying, screening, and conveying
  6. Blending
  7. Mat forming
  8. Pressing
  • Practical Wood Adhesives Technology

Instructor: Bruce Broline (formerly Arclin; Oregon State University; bruce@brolineconsulting.com)

Course goals are to develop an understanding of basic chemistry of resins, resin manufacturing, resin options for wood bonding, practical aspects of resin use, resin performance, green aspects of resins, improve effectiveness for solving production problems, and facilitate working with resin suppliers. No knowledge of chemistry is assumed. Any chemical principles required for this course will be discussed

  1. Introduction/Chemical Foundation
  2. Adhesive overview (Resins 101)
  3. Resin manufacturing
    1. Formaldehyde-based resins
    2. Formaldehyde-free resins
  4. Resin quality control and analysis
  5. Resin Applications-OSB
  6. Resin Applications - Particleboard and MDF
  7. Resin Applications - Veneer Composites
  8. Resin Applications – Engineered Assemblies
  9. Final Thoughts

The modules are integrated online and build upon each other to provide a logical progression as participants transfer newly-acquired skills to the workplace. Modules are self-paced and can be started at any time to help you balance your career and other responsibilities.

Each module includes five to 10 hours of instruction. Participants who receive a 70-percent or above on the course final exam will receive a Certificate of Completion.