Category: 2

Wood density at 12% moisture content (kg): 1060

Also known as: Red ironwood

Botanical name: Lophira procera A. Chev.

Origin: Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Congo, South Cameroon

Use: Azobé can compete with iron and concrete. At the same time, Azobé constructions are lighter. Its advantage over iron is that it does not need to be recoated and that it is not influenced by weather conditions. In recent years, Azobé has been successfully used on long rails in the Paris Metro, on two lines running on tires. In the Paris Metro, it was also tested on brake discs, which must be engaged every 1 ½ min. After longer tests, its use was abandoned because the steel wheel rims were too worn. In countries of origin, it is used for pile drivers, mortars, heavy structures, bridges, houses, railway sleepers, as well as for charcoal and fuel.

Used for:

  • Coastal, port, water, river and bridge constructions
  • Flood gates, lock gates, piles and piers
  • On mining guides – during construction of transport barges and wagons
  • Heavy floors and frame constructions
  • Very stressed factory floors, paving blocks, stairs, parquets
  • Barrels, vats and tanks for chemicals
  • Workshop and laboratory tables
  • Switchboards and textile shuttles

Durability: Sapwood is not durable, but it resists mold and insect damage longer than oak heartwood. Azobé heartwood is one of the most durable woods in terms of resistance to water and moisture, as well as to mold, rot and fire. This wood is considered to be termite resistant, practically indestructible in this regard, immune to insect damage and very resistant to the naval shipworm. Darker and lighter Azobé wood is equally durable. Chemical protection is unnecessary, impregnation is impracticable. It is also resistant to acids (diluted) and is therefore of great importance for the chemical and food industries.

Wood description: Sapwood: 2-3 cm thick, has the color of burnt clay, fades in the air. Heartwood: has a uniform chocolate brown to brown violet color, which darkens in the light to dark brown. Texture: rather coarse, homogeneous, grains are rarely straight, most often the heartwood has irregular spiral grains, which create irregular stripes 1 to 2 cm wide on the radial section, grain of wood is uniform, characteristic chocolate aroma is especially strong when the wood is freshly cut.

Wood treatment:

Cutting: relatively easy if the right saw blade thickness and correct cutting force is chosen
Drying: extremely difficult
Sanding: easy, despite the coarse texture a nice shine is achieved
Polishing: after previous use of the correct grain filler, it is well oiled, stained and waxed
Bonding/gluing: only with synthetic adhesives
Nailing/hammering: using a hammering gun as with concrete or sheet metal