Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., is testing 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 in. wood-fi ber/PP composite boards with different material formulations, using patented die-drawing technology developed by PSA Composites LLC in nearby Kent, Wash.

Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wash., is testing 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 in. wood-fi ber/PP composite boards with different material formulations, using patented die-drawing technology developed by PSA Composites LLC in nearby Kent, Wash. Weyerhaeuser bought PSAC's assets and intellectual property last October, along with a diedrawing R&D line. Weyerhaeuser also hired one of the original die-drawing patent holders, William Newson, to continue product development. Weyerhaeuser is trying to determine the best target markets for the new technology, which reportedly now is capable of suitable production speeds and thinner, wider boards than before, says Grady Mulbery, business manager for the new process. As we reported in March 2006, die drawing stretches the composite as it passes through the die, creating micro-voids behind the wood fi bers. The voids lower the overall density, and stretching/orienting the plastic reportedly makes it much stiffer and stronger than conventional wood/plastic profi les. Weyerhaeuser: (501) 624-8182 . e-mail: grady.mulbery@weyerhaeuser.com