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AFRICAN UTILE

V. Ryan 2008

 

The finest ‘Mahogany’ type hardwood available from Africa today.

Entandrophragma utile
Family: Meliaceae

Common Names: Sipo

Distribution: West and East Africa

 
 
 

General Description: The heartwood matures from pink-brown when fresh cut to deep red-brown. The grain is interlocked to rather irregular, producing a wide irregular striped figure on quartered surfaces. Weight varies from 550-750kg/m3 (34-47lb/ft3), but averages 660kg/m3 (4lb/ft3); specific gravity .6. Texture, uniformly moderate.

Mechanical Properties: This heavy density wood has only medium bending strength and a high crushing strength with low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. It has a very poor steam bending classification as it buckles severely.

Working Properties: Utile works well with hand or machine tools with only a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges; a reduced cutting angle will prevent tearing the interlocked grain on quartered material. Nailing is satisfactory, it glues and stains well and when filled can be brought to a good finish.

Durability: The wood is durable; the sapwood liable to attack from powder post beetle and the heartwood is moderately resistant to termites in West Africa. It is extremely resistant to preservative treatment and resistant to decay.

Uses: Furniture and cabinet making, counter tops, high-class exterior and interior joinery, flooring, boat building and planking, musical instruments, sports goods and general construction work. Selected material used for plywood manufacture and sliced for decorative veneers.

 
 
 
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