Biomaterials Lab

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, La Sarre, Québec
What the facility does

Design and characterization of biocomposites, development of value-added wood products, special wood-product treatments, semipilot tests.

Areas of expertise

The lab conducts applied research aimed at developing new high-value-added wood and biocomposite products and new wood processes.

Research services
  • Thermal characterization of wood fibre and polymers (differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and thermomechanical analysis (TMA))
  • Manufacturing and characterization of wood-polymer composites
  • Mechanical tests (bending, compression, tension, impact)
  • Wood-surface properties (abrasion, hardness)
  • Dimensional stability
  • Semi pilot scale wood drying tests
Sectors of application
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Energy
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Specialized lab



Biomaterials characterization lab

•Zwick Roell 100-kN universal testing machine

• Izod impact strength testing device (Zwick Roell)

• Image analysis system for measuring the dimensional stability of wood and wood-based panels

• Taber abraser (model 5155) for measuring abrasion resistance

• Fisher Scientific lab ovens (model 3511FS)

•Controlled environment chamber

•Precision balances

Characterization of physical and mechanical properties of wood and biocomposites, according to ASTM and ISO standards.

Biomaterials experiment lab


•Torque rheometer

•Thermo Scientific HAAKE micro compounder

•Heated platen press

•Therm @ form thermoforming system

• VacuPress system (vacuum and pressure drying)

1. Characterization of rheological properties of wood-polymer mixtures (torque rheometer).

2. Design of wood-polymer biocomposites using extrusion (semipilot extruder), injection (micro compounder), semi-industrial injection equipment and thermoconsolidation (heated platen press).

3. Semipilot tests of vacuum and pressure drying.

Polymer preparation and characterization lab

• Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) system

• Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) system

• Dynamic thermomechanical analysis (DTMA) system



•Laboratory fume hood

1. Characterization of thermal properties of wood, polymers and wood-polymer mixtures (TGA: thermogravimetric analyses; DSC: enthalpy, specific heat, glass transition, etc.; TMA: behaviour of wood and composites under temperature, cyclical stress, fatigue, etc.).

2. Characterization of rheological properties of wood, polymers and wood-polymer mixtures.

  • Ministère de l’éducation; du Loisir et du Sport du Québec
  • Caisses Desjardins Abitibi-Ouest
  • Conférence régionale des élus de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Conférence régionale des élus de la Baie-James
  • Tembec inc.
  • Town of La Sarre
  • Municipalité régionale de comté d’Abitibi-Ouest
  • Centre local de développement d’Abitibi-Ouest
  • Société d’aide au développement des collectivités Abitibi-Ouest
  • Commission scolaire Lac-Abitibi
  • Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Canada Research Chair
  • Fonds québécois de recherche en nature et technologie
  • Ministère du développement économique; de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation du Québec
  • Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec
  • Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Forest Management
  • Centre technologique des résidus industriels
  • Fondation de l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Consortium de recherche et innovation en bioprocédés industriels



Creep behavior of HDPE/wood particle composites.

Mechanical properties of MMA-hardened hybrid poplar wood.

Effects of hot water treatment of raw bark, coupling agent, and lubricants on properties of bark/HDPE composites.

Fire-retardant properties of wood. particleboards treated with boric acid

Potential of pulp and paper sludge as a formaldehyde scavenger agent in MDF resins.

Application of micromechanical models to tensile properties of wood–plastic composites.

Effects of fiber characteristics on the physical and mechanical properties of wood plastic composites.

Overview of the Biomaterials Lab.