ADVANCED GRADING FOR IMPROVEMENT AND RELIABILITY OF ROUND TIMBER DESIGN VALUES

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2015-33610-23582
Agency Tracking Number: 2015-00463
Amount: $97,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-05-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
E 2890 LORENZ RD, Stoddard, WI, 54658-0000
DUNS: 794106422
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Roald Gundersen
 Co-Founder/Principle Architect
 (608) 317-2427
 roaldgundersen@wholetrees.com
Business Contact
 Amelia Baxter
Title: Co-Founder/President
Phone: (608) 317-1412
Email: ameliaswan@wholetrees.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This project is the last piece of the round timber production puzzle for WholeTrees Structures' SBIR-funded research initiatives: improved selection and grading procedures for round pole timber, building on ASTM visual grading rules for poles and piles, but for structural spanning applications. This research project is based on a solid body of prior work (Wood et al. 1965; Goodman et al. 1981; Wang et al. 2001) correlating in-field nondestructive valuation (NDE) with tested bending strengths and the modulus of elasticity (MOE). WT proposes to refine and implement a cost-effective selection and grading methodology for commercial production. USDA secretary, Tom Vilsack, has urged the Forest Service to "develop new markets" for forest by-products that encourage healthy timber management. WholeTrees® Architecture & Structures (WT) has successfully commercialized a line of round timber structural systems for the non-residential construction industry. The company is creating value from the abundant cullings of well-managed forests with ongoing structural testing of branching round timbers, and subassembly connection tests (2012 Phase II SBIR); development of a software-based grading system for branched round timber, (SBIR Phase I 2013), and perhaps most importantly, successful entry into commercial markets.This research project will optimize the selection and grading of round timber used for spanning to reduce costs and improve product safety, performance and reliability. This research project will: 1) build on previously demonstrated effective Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques; 2) further correlate NDE with destructive testing; and 3) develop a cost-effective set of grading procedures for manufacturing as Phase I proof of concept.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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