Development of structural wood plastic composite timber for innovative marine applications

Principal Investigator: Douglas Gardner (ASCC, UMaine)

Partners: Yousoo Han (Advanced Structures and Composites Center, UMaine); Steve Ruell (Innovasea); Duncan Mayes (Stora Enso)

Abstract: The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the potential of a structural wood plastic composite material (WPC) technology for use in marine applications; more specifically, its application in fish cage pens. Aquaculture structures operate in one of the most demanding of environments in which most materials do not survive for long. Traditional materials that have longevity do not have sufficient strength or affordability. To resolve this problem, UMaine researchers will team with Maine aquaculture businesses to construct an improved cage that utilizes a UMaine patented WPC technology that is stronger, stiffer and less prone to degradation as compared to current WPC materials.