5.01.09 - Non-destructive evaluation of wood and wood-based materials
Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) is the science of identifying the physical and mechanical properties of a material without altering its end-use capabilities and then using this information to make decisions regarding appropriate applications. Such evaluations rely upon nondestructive testing (NDT) technologies to provide accurate information pertaining to the properties, performance, or quality of the material in question.
The Working Party concerns with all aspects of NDT/NDE of wood and wood-based materials and various wood products, with a strong emphasis on nondestructive assessment of wood quality throughout wood supply chain and manufacturing process. It also concerns the research needs and development in the fields of urban tree hazard assssment and structural condition assessment of wood buildings and historic structures. The working scope is intended to cover the techniques that are non-intrusive and/or do not impair the processing or functionality of the object studied. As such, NDE includes both nondestructive and quasi-destructive techniques, and often is done in conjunction with destructive tests for data verification.
The Unit sponsors and supports regional and international events such as technical meetings, trainings, workshops, and symposia. Our goal is to promote effective communication and information dissemination on most recent research advancements and refinements in NDE field and bridge the gap between research and industrial applications.
State of Knowledge
The field of nondestructive testing (NDT) and nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of materials is constantly evolving. This is especially true in the area of wood and fiber-based materials. For example, early research on NDT/NDE technologies for wood products focused on methods for assessing the performance characteristics of structural lumber in North America. The NDT techniques, equipment, and evaluation procedures that resulted from those efforts are now in widespread use. Currently, worldwide research and development efforts are under way to examine the potential use of a wide range of NDT technologies for evaluating wood and wood-based materials—from the assessment of standing trees to in-place structures.
The original impetus for research in NDT/NDE of wood was the need to provide methodologies for assessing wood-based materials and products so that more accurate decisions could be made about proper uses. This remains the major driving force for current NDT/NDE wood research, with two significant additional challenges. First, there is an increased emphases around the world to address forest and ecosystem health issues. Utilization of woody biomass from widely varying growing conditions will play a key role in providing economical options for managing the health of these forests and ecosystems. Second, the market place has become increasingly global in nature. Shipments of raw materials and products between countries on different continents is now commonplace. Both of these challenges will require accurate, cost-effective NDT/NDE technologies. The international forest research community is responding to these driving forces by conducting innovative NDE research to provide the technologies needed to address these challenges.
International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium Series
In an effort to provide a forum for researchers, the international NDT/NDE research community sponsors a series of technical symposia for the exchange of technical information. These symposia are scheduled on a biannual basis at locations throughout the world.
The International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium Series was initiated by Washington State University (WSU) and the USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). The first symposium was held at FPL in fall of 1963, with proceedings produced and distributed in 1964. At that meeting, nearly 100 scientists, engineers, and industry leaders discussed the possibilities of a wide range of scientific means for testing wood nondestructively. Nineteen symposia have been held to date at sites in China, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, and the United States.
While the early symposia focused on basic NDE principles and lumber assessment procedures, the symposia now attracts researchers and industrial representatives from throughout the world and represents the full spectrum of technical interests, from basic and applied science to the use of various methods in industrial and field applications.