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    Author(s): Theodore H. WegnerJerrold E. WinandyMichael A. Ritter
    Date: 2005
    Source: 2nd International Symposium on Nanotechnology in Construction, 13-16 November 2005, Bilbao, Spain [CD-ROM]. Bagneux, France: RILEM: 9 pages.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (120 KB)


    Over 1.9 × 106 housing units are constructed in the United States in 2004. On a volume basis, wood products comprise almost 80% of all materials used in residential housing. It is estimated that over 7 × 109 m3 of lumber have gone into structures in the United States over the last century. Half of the wood products now used in construction are engineered wood composites. Employing nanotechnology within the forest products industry could result in previously undreamed of growth opportunities for bio-based products. Nanotechnology will result in a unique next generation of wood- based products that have hyper-performance and superior serviceability when used in severe environments. They will have strength properties now only seen with carbon-based composites materials, and they will be both durable while in service and biodegradable after their useable service- life. Other potential benefits will be improved traditional wood- and bio- composite products similar to those now used in construction, but with significantly improved performance or economy. Nanotechnology will also promote the development of intelligent wood- and biocomposite products with an array of nanosensors built in. Building functionality onto lignocellulosic surfaces at the nanoscale could open new opportunities for such things as self-sterilizing surfaces, internal self-repair, and electronic lignocellulosic devices. The high strength of nanofibrillar cellulose together with its potential economic advantages will offer the opportunity to make lighter weight, strong materials with greater durability.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Wegner, Theodore H.; Winandy, Jerrold E.; Ritter, Michael A. 2005. Nanotechnology opportunities in residential and non-residential construction. 2nd International Symposium on Nanotechnology in Construction, 13-16 November 2005, Bilbao, Spain [CD-ROM]. Bagneux, France: RILEM: 9 pages.


    Construction, nanotechnology, wood, biocomposites

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