james w asked in Science & MathematicsGeography · 9 years ago

# worlds hardest woods [rain forest]?

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• Randal
Lv 7
9 years ago

Question

I have a small piece of African ebony left from when I bought some about fifteen years ago. It's the solid black specie, not the striped black specie. I'm curious to know if it is the hardest, densest wood on the planet, or if some other species are just as hard and dense, or perhaps even harder and denser.

Forum Responses

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:

Of the commercial timbers, lignum vitae is the heaviest, which is over 15% heavier than ebony.

Here is a quote from a US Forest Products Lab publication dated 1969...

"The most important and exacting use of lignum vitae is for bearings or bushing blocks lining the stern tubes of propeller shafts of steamships and submarines. The blocks are machined to conform to the curvature of the propeller shaft on one end-grain surface, and on the other side to conform to the curvature of the propeller tube. Numerous attempts have been made to substitute other hard, heavy woods for use as underwater bearings but none contain the high guaiac resin content which makes lignum vitae self lubricating and unique for this very exacting utilization."

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Certainly one of the world's heaviest and hardest ironwoods is the Caribbean tree called lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale), with a specific gravity of 1.37.

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• 4 years ago

Hardest Wood In The World

• 9 years ago

Wood hardness is rated on the Janka scale. The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a type of wood to withstand denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter. This method leaves an indentation. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring. Lignum vitae, at 4500 Janka, is the hardest wood there is. Let's see the top ten hardest woods in the world

#1 - Lignum vitae (4500)

Lignum vitae is a trade wood, known in Europe as pockenholz. This wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness and density. Lignum vitae is hard and durable, and is also the densest wood traded; it will easily sink in water.

#2 - Angico, Kurupayra (3840)

Kurupayra, coming from the same family as Pepperwood, is incredibly durable with one of the highest Janka hardness ratings of 3,840. The vibrant wood features a reddish brown heartwood with yellow tones. The warming fusion of the red-browns and yellow creates a cozy feeling in any room and goes particularly well with white decor.

#3 - Ipê (3684)

Ipe is an incredibly durable wood. Its dense cell structure serves as a natural deterrent to insects, decay, and molds. Because of this natural resilience Ipe is often the first choice for decking because of its almost unparalleled ability to stand up to the elements. More than just durable, Ipe is also very pleasing to the eye. Its heartwood is light to dark olive brown with contrasting yellowish-grey or grey brown tones accompanying it. With a Class A fire rating, Ipe occupies the same class of fire-retardant materials as steel. For durability, safety, and beauty, Ipe makes an excellent choice.

#4 - Cumaru - Brazilian Teak (3540)

Brazilian Teak, called Cumaru in South America, is a wood whose natural tones vary from yellowish tan to more muted medium brown to darker sienna. Brazilian Teak is a dense and hardwood, and combined with its vibrant beauty, its strength and durability keep this wood among the top three choices in exotic hardwood flooring.

#5 - Ebony (3220)

Ebony is any very dense black wood. Ebony has a very high density and will sink in water. Its fine texture, and very smooth finish when polished, have made it very valuable as an ornamental wood. Ebony has a long history of use, with carved pieces having been found in Ancient Egyptian tombs.

#6 - Brazilian RedWood (3190)

Known for both its incredible durability as a hardwood and the elegant muted Cherry tones it offers aesthetically, Brazilian Redwood far surpasses domestic Redwood in beauty and reliability. Even when it has darkened with age, this wood, known in South America as Massaranduba, remains a bright feature in a room, making it an ideal choice for creating a room with an airy yet warm and inviting atmosphere.

#7 - Bamboo (3000)

Bamboo flooring is growing in popularity and is an attractive, cheaper, and more eco-friendly alternative to hardwood floors. Similar to hardwoods in look, strength and durability, it's also a renewable material. Actually a grass, bamboo can grow over 1 meter in 24 hours, and takes between three and five years to fully mature, as opposed to the decades that it takes traditional hardwoods to mature.

#8 - Bloodwood (2900)

Jatoba is a hardwood species known more commonly as Brazilian Cherry. Imported from Brazil, this South American wood encompasses a range of light and dark reddish brown shades that vary in color and streak. Brazilian Cherry is 228% harder than domestic red oak, making it a strong, durable wood and a reliable choice in flooring.

#9 - Rock Mahogany (2697)

Thanks to its widespread use in Victorian furnishings, mahogany is invariably associated with elegance. A reddish-brown color and close grain pattern make this species an ideal choice for creating a rich, sophisticated environment.

#10 - Brazilian Cherry - Jatoba (2350)

A deep and dark red color with a very distinct grain, Bloodwood is one of the higher density woods from South America. Bloodwood has beautiful grain characteristics and colors ranging from medium red to almost purple.