The Amazing Adventures of ‘Superwood’ Composite Research Is Adding Muscle to Maine’s Mild-Mannered Timbers

Technology at The University of Maine is transforming the state’s lower-grade wood species into “super wood” — new value-added building materials.

Engineers and wood scientists at UMaine’s Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center (AEWC) are developing new materials by combining wood with space-age plastics, such as fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs). The goals: stronger, cost-efficient construction materials to build structures that withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes; marine piers that resist decay and pest infestation, such as shipworms; and strong bridges that last longer, offering an alternative to traditional spans of steel and concrete.

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