WSU researchers turn hazelnut shells into composite panels

February 28, 2022 |

In Washington state, at WSU’s Composite Materials Engineering Center, researchers turn agricultural waste products, such as shells, fibers, and stubble, into resin-strengthened architectural and decorative panels. Funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation Research Program and inspired by a Northwest client seeking help making compressed fiber panels, the latest project explores hazelnut shells as an ideal main ingredient. 

Panels need to be strong enough to bear a load across a given span. They need to be able to hold screws or fasteners, and to have minimal creep, or bending over time due to weight. The team is working to maximize the amount natural fiber in the panel while minimizing the amount of resin, and ultimately envision use of a bio-based, carbon-neutral resin.

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Category: Research

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