Spring 2001 research & technology projects

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

McFarland Cascade, Tacoma

Researcher: Michael P. Wolcott, WSU Wood Materials & Engineering Laboratory

McFarland Cascade produces pressure treated lumber, plastic lumber and other specialty outdoor building materials. Wood-plastic composites are the newest form of wood-based building products. This project will develop advanced polystyrene blends to improve the processing and performance characteristic of wood-plastic composites in the commercial decking industry.

StressWave, Kent

Researcher: Brian D. Flinn, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

StressWave has developed a new technology that minimizes the cost of improving the fatigue life of holes in metal structures. The technology is easily automated and has been shown to increase fatigue life by a minimum of three times compared to untreated holes. This project will investigate new opportunities for the StressWave process that include but are not limited to automotive, industrial, and biomedical applications. Dr. Flinn will test, analyze and optimize StressWave’s process of improving fracture strength and fatigue life in low ductility metals, single-sided and blind hole applications.

Biotechnology and Biomedical Devices

EKOS Corporation, Bothell

Researcher: Fatih Dogan, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Encouraged by their own clinical trials, EKOS is pursuing the simultaneous use of ultrasound and thrombolytic drugs in the speedy dissolution of blood clots for use particularly in stroke management. Critical to the success of this procedure is the ultrasound transducer, the device that converts electrical energy to ultrasound energy for enhancing the delivery of clot-dissolving drugs. Using Dr. Dogan’s ceramics expertise, the UW team will investigate improvement of mechanical properties of the piezoelectric ceramic and also evaluate and optimize a fabrication process for the strengthened material.

RS Medical, Vancouver

Researcher: Steven A. Martinez, WSU Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

In the U.S., approximately 250,000 lumbar spinal fusions are performed every year. Of these procedures, many require additional treatment due to unsuccessful fusion. Bone Growth Stimulation (BGS) devices are widely accepted in the orthopedic market to promote healing following spinal surgeries, increasing the success of the fusion. However, most of the existing devices are unable to focus on an exact area. This project will analyze the effect of two of RS Medical’s bone growth stimulation devices that can target a specific bone area as well as provide stimulation to larger areas.


IDmicro, Inc., Tacoma

Researchers: Denise Wilson, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Doug St. John, UW Precision Forestry Cooperative

Already successful with radio frequency identification (RFID) applications, IDMicro is working with the UW to develop an application to be used in the forest products industry. In today’s timber industry, tracking logs keep the high value logs from being incorrectly categorized and shunted into a lower value product stream. The UW team will develop an “injection gun” for inserting tags into trees as well as investigate the feasibility of using electric and electromagnetic information for additional sensing and measurement.

Related WTC links:

  • RTD Grant Program

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  • This entry was posted in EKOS, ID, McFarland_Cascade, RS_Medical, StressWave. Bookmark the permalink.

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