By replacing commonly used formaldehyde-based resins with a new type of binder, researchers at UMaine have developed fiber board building material that is nontoxic, made entirely from renewable materials and is 25% stronger than currently available products. The new binder includes cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), which are wood fibers about 200 micrometers in length and 30 nanometers wide. The CNF is manufactured using a UMaine proprietary mechanical process that is free from harmful chemicals or additives.
- Reduction in health problems and related expenses (up to $48m per year 1) caused by formaldehyde exposure.
- Up to 25% increased product strength.
- All components, precursors and processing materials are renewable and nontoxic.
The Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS) provides soldiers with enhanced ballistic protection where it never existed before – in their tents where they work, eat, and sleep. The system consists of composite ballistic panels that are mounted to the inside of the tent frame using an energy-absorbing connection system. Requiring no tools, the MBPS can be used to up-armor a 20ft x 32ft tent in less than 30 minutes with 4 soldiers.
US Patent 7,68,5921
PROBLEM: Organic pollutants and dyes from textile and paper plants in industrial waste streams need remediation.
SOLUTION: Using the chemically enhanced Fenton system, dyes can be remediated quickly in an environmentally safe manner.
PROBLEM: Composite manufacturers need ways to improve extruded thermoplastics using inexpensive, environmentally friendly ingredients and without slowing process time.
PROBLEM: Commonly available sheet piling used for retaining walls corrodes, increasing maintenance costs and reducing the useful life of the construction. These problems are heightened in a marine environment.
SOLUTION: Our patented wood composite sheet piling system does not corrode, which reduces overall life cycle costs. Additionally it is chemically inert and 100% recyclable.
A solution for simplifying manufacturing of utility-scale wind turbine blades?
PROBLEM: Manufacturers of large composite components such as boats or wind blades are currently limited to using non-recyclable materials and labor intensive manufacturing processes.
PROBLEM: Builders prefer reinforced glulam beams for applications benefiting from thier beauty or shape versatility. But glulam beams have a tendency to weaken (delaminate, or peel) on the ends when the center of the beam is bent or stressed.
SOLUTION: UMaine offers reinforced glulam beams that withstand end delamination under 38% more bending stress compared to other reinforced beams, and 95% more stress compared to non-reinforced beams.