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Nature provides inspiration for important new adhesive

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Techniques have also been explored to create the new adhesives from tree bark or wood decayed by brown rot fungus. Regardless of the material used to produce the adhesives, they are renewable and may reduce the need for the currently used urea-formaldehyde wood adhesives that have health concerns, and are based on increasingly expensive petroleum.

"This technology looks extremely promising in a variety of markets," said Brian Wall of the OSU Office of Technology Transfer, which has already reached the first licensing agreement with a company on a product that will be in commercial application soon. "We are actively talking to and looking for additional licensees."

A few years ago, the forest products industry in the U.S. and Canada was spending more than $2 billion a year on wood adhesives, and the wood composites industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the United States.

"Based on the successful commercial application of our adhesives, the wood adhesive industry and wood products industry are going to see some major changes in the next few years," Li said. "It appears our adhesives will have a huge impact in the creation of improved wood products that work better and are safe in the environment."

The new adhesive should improve both work and living environments, and enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. companies, researchers say. They can also provide another market for the nation's soybean farmers - the new adhesives use a tremendous amount of soy flour.


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Source:Oregon State University


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