USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Black Afara, Idigbo (Nigeria), Emeri (Ghana), Framire (Ivory Coast).
Distribution: West tropical Africa from Guinea to Cameroon, abundant in primary and secondary forests and transition formations. A successful plantation species.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 150 ft, bole straight and clear to 70 ft, frequently fluted; trunk diameters 3 to 5 ft above buttresses. Brittleheart common.
General Characteristics: Heartwood yellow brown or light pink brown; sapwood somewhat paler, not clearly demarcated. Texture medium to rather coarse; grain straight or slightly irregular; moderately lustrous; without distinctive odor or taste. Dust may irritate skin or respiratory tracts. Timber may stain in contact with iron. Yellow dye may stain damp fabrics.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.43; air-dry density 32 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (9) 12,100 1,350 6,930
12% (25) 11,900 1,360 6,400
Janka side hardness 845 lb for dry material. Amsler toughness 140 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly and well with little degrade. Kiln schedule T1-D5S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D4S for 8/4 stock. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.5%; tangential 5.2%; volumetric 9.0%. Movement in service rated as small.
Working Properties: Easy to work with hand and machine tools, a 20 degree cutting angle is suggested to avoid tearing of grain in planing, turns well, good nailing and gluing properties, takes a good finish.
Durability: Heartwood is rated as durable and moderately resistant to termite attack sapwood liable to powder-post beetles.
Preservation: Heartwood highly resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood moderately resistant.
Uses: A good general purpose timber. Furniture components, joinery, decorative paneling, veneers, flooring, light construction.
Additional Reading: (6), (9), (25)