The feasibility of producing oriented strand board (OSB) from alder in western Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9s161b36f

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  • Alder (Alnus rubra Bong.), a major hardwood tree in Western Oregon, has potential as a raw material source for producing oriented strand board (OSB), based upon its availability, wood properties, and present under-utilization. While other studies recently examined board performance of alder produced OSB and obtained promising results, this study examined the economic feasibility of producing OSB in Western Oregon with alder as its base material. The purpose of this study is to determine if a market exists or can be developed, that a sufficient quantity and quality of raw material is potentially available, and that the total costs of production would likely be competitive with other structural panel products, especially plywood. It includes market, technical, and financial analyses, the latter presenting a hypothetical case study of an OSB plant with an annual capacity of 150 MMSF, 3/8 in. basis to produce panels with a density of 40 pcf using alder wood with an average specific gravity (ovendry) of 0.41, and resin and wax contents of 5% and 2%, respectively. The market analysis involves the collection and analysis of data to identify, describe, and quantify likely markets. The technical analysis considers the effects of various factors such as product description, manufacturing process, and availability of alder to establish whether or not the case example would be technically feasible. The financial analysis includes raw material requirements, prices, production costs, and an evaluation of the case example. Financial summaries are given for a typical one-year plant operation with a return on investment of 15.32%, as well as for a ten-year cash flow analysis with an internal rate of return of 15.10%. Sensitivity analyses on several components of major production costs shows that wood cost and resin cost are two of the largest single component of the total production cost. The sensitivity analysis on wood cost and panel selling price indicated that the overall feasibility of the case example is much more sensitive to changes in panel selling price than to changes in wood cost. Based on resource data currently available, an area consisting of Clatsop, Tillamook, and Columbia counties is better suited to supply alder raw material needs compared to other regions of Western Oregon. The study suggests that market can be developed and raw material obtained, while the overall cost would be at an acceptable level. The study also indicates that income would exceed costs, though not sufficiently adequate at 1984 price levels to yield financial returns to justify construction of the case example plant.
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