Renewable Materials Research Centre (CRMR)

Université Laval, Quebec, Québec
What the facility does

Supports research and training for the responsible use of forest and lignocellulosic fibre resources, taking into account environmental and economic issues.

Areas of expertise

The Centre has extensive expertise in characterizing supply sources (anatomical, physico‑mechanical, chemical and thermal properties); developing and assessing the properties of new products, innovative systems and eco-friendly buildings; developing methods for processing wood substances and leveraging biopolymers and biopolymer by-products (extractives, biofuels); assessing the behaviour and performance of innovative products and systems in response to fire and environmental factors, and analyzing the life cycle of those products and systems; and commercializing products and assessing their impact on social life.

Their most innovative areas of expertise include the design of biosourced composites with structural, thermal and acoustic properties suitable to eco-friendly construction; the development of biosourced thermal insulation that can be used in construction as an alternative to petroleum-based insulation; the development of insulating foams made from tannins from trees; the development of photopolymerized self-repairing coatings, wood surface impregnation systems and automated coatings, the design of construction systems providing optimal thermal, hydric and acoustic performance to enhance user comfort, increase the lifespan of buildings and reduce their carbon footprint; the development of innovative bioproducts based on cellulose fibers (antimicrobial papers, agricultural bioproducts), and the leveraging of bioenergy from forest and agricultural biomass for use in eco-friendly buildings.

Research services
  • Training of college and undergraduate students.
  • Training of highly qualified personnel (graduate students).
  • Support provided to businesses to foster innovation through technical support, technology development, information and training.
  • Transfer of outcomes and technologies developed for users from various sectors through the CRMR website and its social media platforms, its annual conference, and popular science videos and articles.
Sectors of application
  • Chemical industries
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Education
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Manufacturing and processing

Specialized lab



Wood anatomy lab

Fibre quality analyzer

Rapidly and accurately measure fibre length, width, curl, fines (very small fibres or fibre fragments found in wood pulp) percentage and curvature.

Structural lab

Shear wall test bench

Measure the mechanical deformation properties of structures such as house walls. Simulates seismic and wind loads. Maximum capacity of 300 kN.

Value-added product and building performance lab

Environmental test chamber

Unit with two compartments designed to simulate the external and internal environmental conditions of a wall.

Value-added product and building performance lab

3-axis machining centre

Machining of high-precision parts (e.g., 4′x8′ panel sheets or a large 5′x10′ table).

Mechanical testing laboratory

Universal testing machine

Test flexural, compressive and shear strength for materials characterization. Maximum capacity of 444 kN.

Wood physics lab

Micro CT scanner

Create 3D reproductions of materials by measuring density and porosity variation.

Physics lab


Measure a surface’s profile to assess its roughness and microgeometry.

Wood anatomy lab

Keyence high-resolution optical microscope

4K high-accuracy optical microscope capable of capturing images of 3D objects and surfaces.

Impregnation lab

Cone calorimeter

Study the behaviour of fire in small samples with a surface area of 100x100 mm2.

Wood physics lab

Confocal Raman spectrometer

A non-destructive method for determining the chemical nature, molecular structure and crystallinity of materials. Spatial resolution of 1 µm.

Composite panel lab

Hydraulic panel press

Generate a large compressive force (9,500 kPa) to manufacture various types of panels. Maximum temperature of 213°C.

Wood machining lab

Chipper canter

Produce pulp-and-paper cants and chips in a single operation. Rotation speed control.

Weathering lab

QUV UV weathering test chamber and Q-SUN xenon weathering test chamber 

Simulate accelerated weathering of materials through exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Analytical chemistry lab

Infrared spectrometer

Its detector makes it useful for kinetic studies as it can record multiple spectra per second. A spectroscopy technique using photons with wavelengths in the infrared region.

Analytical chemistry lab

Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)

Detection of phase transitions. Thermoanalytical technique for measuring the difference in the amount of heat exchanged between a sample and reference.

Analytical chemistry lab

Thermogravimetric balance

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Measure the variation in mass of a sample over time at a specific temperature or temperature profile.

Analytical chemistry lab

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system

Separate the molecules in a complex, highly diverse mixture.

Analytical chemistry lab

Dynamic thermomechanical analyzer (DMA)

Measure the physicochemical properties of materials under different temperatures, time and atmospheric conditions.

Analytical chemistry lab

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) system

Separate, identify and quantify the compounds in a sample, even in trace amounts.

Analytical chemistry lab

UV-visible-infrared (UV-Vis-IR) spectrophotometer

Measure absorbance as a function of wavelength. A spectroscopy technique using photons with wavelengths in the ultraviolet, visible or near-infrared range.


  • FPInnovations
  • Quebec Forestry Industry Council (QFIC)
  • Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  • Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (Quebec)
  • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • École de technologie supérieure | ÉTS Montréal
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQAT)
  • Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
  • Canlak
  • EMCO-Inortech
  • Mirage (Mirage Floors)
  • Canadel
  • Inovem
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Cecobois
  • Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (APCHQ)
  • Société Laurentide
  • Vertima
  • Corruven
  • Provencher Roy
  • Bostik Canada Inc.
  • Rotho Blaas Canada Construction Products Inc.
  • Centre d’enseignement et de recherche en foresterie (CERFO)
  • Combustion Expert Énergie
  • Énergir
  • Groupement forestier coopératif Abitibi
  • Hydro-Québec
  • Innofibre
  • Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable (Quebec)
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Municipality of Quebec City
  • Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)
  • Uniboard Canada
  • Tafisa Canada
  • Arbec Forest Products
  • Coarchitecture
  • Art Massif
  • Chantiers Chibougamau
  • Kruger
  • CIMA+
  • Maibec
  • Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) (Quebec)
  • Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) (Quebec)
  • Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI)
  • Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ)



Scientific journals: peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, etc.

Equipment available at the CRMR

Achievements and honours