Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Spradlin, Warren Edward II Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-9297-173637 Title A Perceptional Comparison of Wood in Separate Infrastructure Markets Degree Master of Science Department Wood Science and Forest Products Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Bush, Robert J. Lamb, Fred M. Smith, Robert L. Committee Chair Keywords
Date of Defense 1997-09-25 Availability unrestricted AbstractDecision-makers involved in material choice decisions in
the United States infrastructure were surveyed to identify
factors which are important in the material choice decision
and to determine the perceptions of wood in various
infrastructure applications. This information led to the
development of strategies to increase the use of wood in
infrastructure markets across the US. The highway,
marine/inland waterway, railroad and utility systems
composed the four markets representing the US infrastructure.
A total of 2344 questionnaires were mailed nationwide.
The perceptions of wood were further defined through personal
interviews with 112 individuals in four geographically
The most important factors in material choice decisions
were durability, maintenance and cost. Environmental impact,
ease of design and innovativeness of material were less
important in the material choice decision. Highway and
marine/inland waterway respondents perceived wood to be
among the lowest materials in overall performance. Railroad
and utility respondents perceived wood to have significantly
better overall performance than highway and marine/inland
Respondents perceived wood's advantages to be its
aesthetically pleasing appearance, low initial cost, ease in
repair and ease in field modification. They perceived the
disadvantages of wood to be high life-cycle costs, high
maintenance requirements and low biological decay resistance.
Several strategies are suggested to increase wood use in
infrastructure, including: greater market approach by the
wood products industry, improved timber structure design
details, and increased service life of wood through improved
chemical preservative treatments.
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