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The Research & Development Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency (R&D CAMEE) at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) has been CLT panel being machined on 5axis CNC routerawarded its second grant from the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, Virginia.

The $78,000 Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) award will be used to advance Virginia’s capacity to manufacture Cross-Laminated Timbers (CLTs) out of Southern Yellow Pine. If R&D CAMEE is successful in certifying Southern Yellow Pine as a CLT building material it will open the doors to new manufacturing operations in southern Virginia that could lead to economic development and job growth.

“Energy has been identified as an important economic development opportunity for the state, and CLTs fit into that wider discussion,” said SVHEC Director of Research & Development David Kenealy. “CLTs are clearly on the radar, and buildings using these panels are now going up in the U.S. If Southern Yellow Pine is certified as an approved material that opens the doors to a range of possibilities for new manufacturing in southern Virginia,” he continued.

 Completed CLTs made of Southern Yellow PineCLT panels are formed using planed boards from 1” thick x 5”-7” wide laid in alternate layers, and glued using formaldehyde-free, food-grade glue. Typically, CLTs are made out of spruce and fir, but R&D CAMEE is working to certify Southern Yellow Pine, a tree found naturally in southern Virginia, as an approved CLT building material.
Pete Jobse, CIT President and CEO, stated, “These awards continue the CRCF mission to advance crucial research and commercialization projects that foster innovation and new economic development opportunities across Virginia.”

R&D CAMEE has made great progress in certifying Southern Yellow Pine as a CLT building material since winning its first CIT grant in 2012. R&D CAMEE constructed Southern Yellow Pine CLTs have met or exceeded National Institute for Technology and Standards (NIST) conventions for mechanical, acoustical, and vibration-resistance properties; fire-resistance testing is currently underway.

This most recent $78,000 grant award will allow R&D CAMEE to continue its valuable research by testing the effects of using a hydraulic press versus a pneumatic press. Other variables including moisture content, adhesive spread rate, and press time on CLTs produced from Southern Yellow Pine will also be included in the second round of testing.

Dr. Dan Hindman, associate professor in the Sustainable Biomaterials department at Virginia Tech, has been an invaluable partner throughout the CLT research project. Other project partners include CLT USA, LLC, Henkel, Inc., and SIPS of America on the CLT project.

About the SVHEC’s R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is advancing southern Virginia’s economic potential through education, innovation, and collaboration. The R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency is an SVHEC initiative, and is focused on assisting small and medium sized businesses with adopting manufacturing focused technologies and commercializing new products. For more information call 
434-572-5440, or email information@svhec.org.

About the Center for Innovative Technology

CIT is a commercialization program to incentivize the commercialization in Virginia of a product or service related to a qualifying technology. The CRCF program is a state fund designed to advance, in Virginia, targeted areas of research with potential for economic growth. For more information about the CIT program visit http://www.cit.org/.