Forestry professor to talk on wood composites, conserving renewable natural resources

Published: Nov 3, 2009 7:50:00 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334.844.3447

Brian Via, professor of forestry and wildlife sciences at Auburn University, will present "The Impact of Fiber Morphology, Chemistry and Macro Material Properties on Low Density Wood Composite Performance" on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. in 104 Textile Engineering Building. His seminar is hosted by Auburn's Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering.

Lowering the density of wood composites conserves renewable natural resources and lowers manufacturing and transportation costs. The first part of Via's seminar will discuss the woody cell wall as a composite comprising various polymer concentrations and angles. He will also discuss the impact of woody cell wall traits on wood strength and stiffness.

Via will cover structural wood composites and critical future work concerning the safety of lightweight composites. He will discuss optimal composite engineering for safety, as well as other collaborations with polymer and fiber engineering to make lower density composites, including nano-cellulose inclusion into synthetic and natural wood adhesives.

Via will use analytical tools to explain how to reverse engineer true wood composites, which have traditionally been wood flakes combined with resin, to better understand underlying factors that directly impact composite mechanical properties and constrain the reduction of composite density.

To learn more about Via's research, visit: