USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Amansamujer, Copachu (Colombia), Camibar (Costa Rica), Muramo, Curucai (Venezuela).
Distribution: Lowland areas from Nicaragua to Colombia, often in nearly pure stands.
The Tree: Heights are usually 75 to 100 ft with clear boles of 40 to 50 ft; commonly range from 18 to 40 in. in diameter with occasional specimens reaching 48 to 60 in.
General Characteristics: Heartwood medium to light brown, often attractively streaked; sharply demarcated from the thick sapwood which is pinkish to white when fresh becoming dingy on the surface because of oily exudations. Texture rather fine and uniform; straight grained; superficially dull but with golden luster beneath; without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40; air-dry density 30 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (73) 5,920 940 2,460
12% 8,560 1,110 4,290
12% (44) 8,900 1,180 NA
Janka side hardness 440 lb for green material and 630 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 88 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Wood dries rapidly with no checking and only slight warping. Collapse is reported to occur sometimes in the darker streaks in the heartwood, particularly during kiln-drying. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4. Control of gum exudates by use of high kiln temperatures is reported. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.4%; tangential 5.3%; volumetric 8.9%.
Working Properties: Tends to be woolly when sawed green; wood machines well in all operations when dry, mostly with smooth surfaces, sometimes with a slight tendency fuzziness. Easy to glue. Requires care in finishing because of gum content. Fair to good in steam-bending quality.
Durability: Generally rated as nondurable, particularly in resistance to white rot.
Preservation: The wood is reported to be easy to preserve.
Uses: Interior trim, furniture and cabinet work, joinery, veneer and plywood, millwork; used to prepare resin-stabilized veneer for pattern stock.
Additional Reading: (37), (44), (56), (73)