USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Blimah-pu (Liberia), Apapaye (Ghana), Lusamba (Zaire), Apaya (Nigeria).
Distribution: From Sierra Leone to the Congo region and Angola; most common in the eastern region of the Ivory Coast, scattered elsewhere. Found near streams and lakes.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 115 ft; bole usually irregular, clear to 50 ft; fluted; trunk diameter 2 to 3 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood creamy white to pale yellow, darkening to a gold yellow; sapwood not differentiated. Texture moderately fine, grain straight, wavy, or irregularly interlocked; high natural luster; has an attractive mottled figure if quartered.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.48; air-dry density 36 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (9) 13,400 1,390 7,450
12% (47) 19,200 1,750 8,800
12% (44) 14,400 NA 7,050
Janka side hardness 1,080 lb for dry material. Amsler toughness 160 to 220 in.-lb. 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries fairly rapidly with some tendency to warp, existing end checks are liable to extend. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.6%; tangential 6.7%; volumetric 12.0%. Movement in service is rated as small.
Working Properties: Timber saws well and easy to work with hand and machine tools, planing a cutting angle of 15 to 20 degrees is suggested to avoid tearing of interlocked grain, good gluing and veneering properties. Dermatitis, nosebleeding, and other symptoms reported in woodworkers.
Durability: Heartwood is nondurable; reported to be moderately resistant to nonresistant to termite attack.
Preservation: Heartwood extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood permeable.
Uses: Furniture, fine joinery, decorative veneers, cabinetwork, paneling.
Additional Reading: (3), (9), (44), (47)