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FS - Forest Products Laboratory

Laboratory Information:

FS - Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
Agency/Department: Dept. of Agriculture
Region: Midwest

FLC Laboratory Representative:

John Dramm
Phone: (608) 231-9326
Fax: (608) 231-9310

Background/History of the Laboratory:

At the turn of the 19th century, logging had proceeded across much of the eastern United States and demands for wood products were rising rapidly. In 1910, the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) was established in Madison, Wisc., to find ways to conserve scarce timber resources. For almost 100 years, our mission has been to use our Nation's wood resources wisely and efficiently, while at the same time keeping our forests healthy. Our research began with preserving railroad ties, and now we are venturing into nanotechnology and finding ways that our research can contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change. The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) celebrated its 100th Anniversary June 6, 2010. A pictorial history of the research conducted at the FPL can be found at

Mission of the Laboratory:

To identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life.


1.   The Centennial Research Facility (CRF), the newest addition to the FPL campus, provides 90,000 square foot of combined research facility that consolidates research activities, allowing for maximum collaboration between scientists and with outside partners. The facility opened June 6, 2010 for the FPL’s 100th Anniversary. The CRF houses state-of-the art equipment and laboratories in four major areas of research:
  • Wood Preservation
  • Durability
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Composite Sciences
2.   The Analytical Chemistry and Microscopy Laboratory (ACML) provides high-quality analytical support and technical consultation to researchers with the use of specialized equipment and capabilities.
3.  The Fire Test Lab is key to developing safe, durable building products; it is equipped to perform standardized tests for flame retardancy and fire resistance.
4.  The Pulp and Paper Pilot Plant contains a state-of-the-art recycling plant with processes and equipment similar to those found in mills today. The 45,000 square foot facility has the capacity to recycle five dry metric tons of paper per day. The paper recycling pilot plant includes high-consistency pulping, pressure screening, centri-cleaning, flotation, washing/dewatering, and clarification by dissolved air flotation. The plant is configured in a closed-loop operation. Clarified process water can be recycled upstream for use in the pulping of additional batches and also as dilution water for the cleaning and screening stages. Typical yield is 70 percent.


Technology Transfer Mechanisms:

  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)
  • Patents and Licensing
  • Cooperative Research
  • Joint Venture Agreements
  • Technical and Financial Assistance
  • Workshops, seminars, conferences, publications

Technology Areas of Expertise:

  • Advanced Wood Composites
  • Advanced Wood Structures
  • Nanotechnology
  • Underutilized Woody Biomass
  • Forest Biorefinery and Biomass Utilization