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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Schedules
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Millettia laurentii

Trade Name
Wenge

Family Name
Papilionaceae

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Common Names
Anong, Awong, Awoung, Bokonge, Bwengu, Dikela, Kiboto, Mboto, Mibotu, Monkonge, Mukonde mutshi, Mundambi, N'gondou, N'toka, N'toko, Nson-so, Nsou-so, Otogo, Palissandre du congo, Pallissandre, Tshikalakala, Wenge, Zai-wenge

Regions of Distribution
Africa

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zaire

Common Uses
Bedroom suites, Boat building (general), Boat building, Boxes and crates, Brush backs & handles, Building construction, Building materials, Cabin construction, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Carvings, Chairs, Chests, Concealed parts (Furniture), Construction, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Domestic flooring, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Drum sticks, Excelsior, Factory construction, Factory flooring, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Hatracks, Heavy construction, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Lifeboats, Light construction, Living-room suites, Mine timbers, Musical instruments , Office furniture, Organ pipes, Paneling, Parquet flooring, Piano keys, Pianos , Plywood, Posts, Railroad ties, Shipbuilding, Sporting Goods, Tool handles, Turnery, Vehicle parts, Veneer: decorative

Environmental Profile
Status unknown in parts of its range
Secure in many areas of its range
Little or no threat to its population
Extinct, Endangered, Rare, or Vulnerable within some parts of its original range.
Data source is World Conservation Monitoring Center


Distribution Overview
The natural growth range of the species is the open forests of Zaire, Cameroon, Gabon, the southern regions of Tanzania, and Mozambique. It is also found in the swampy forests of the Congo region.

Heartwood Color
Yellow
White
Red
Green/grey
Brown
Orange
Pink
Dark brown
Color variation is moderate
Black
Alternating bands of light and dark tissue


Sapwood Color
Red
Yellow
White
White to yellow
Well defined


Grain
Straight
Figure
Even
Distinct (figure)
Interlocked

Straight
Distinct figure
Straight to roey
Interlocked

The appearance of the wood has been described as expressive

Texture
Fine
Even or uniform
Uniform
Coarse
Medium
Medium coarse to coarse
Fine


Luster
Low


Natural Growth Defects
Brittleheart is sometimes present
Bore holes occasionally

Bore holes tend to reduce the volume of quality material from logs

Natural Durability
Moderately durable
Durable
Perishable
Non-durable
Resistant to attack from termites (Isoptera)
Very durable
Durable
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Non durable
Heartwood resistant to decay
Heartwood resistant ot marine borers and termites
Good weathering properties


Odor
No specific smell or taste


Toxicity
Dermatitic effects
Respiratory effects
Poisonous


Kiln Schedules
Dry at a slow speed
UK=E US=T6D2/T3D1 Fr=5
T6 - D2 (4/4) US
T3 - D1 (8/4) US


Drying Defects
Checking
Slight end splitting
Severe surface checking
Distortion (twist/warp) is likely


Ease of Drying
Thick Stock Requires Care
Reconditioning Treatement
Requires special attention
Difficult
Dries slowly with severe degrade in uncontrolled conditions


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is not buttressed
Bole/stem form is misshapen
Bole/stem form is cylindrical


Tree Size
Tree height is 20-30 m
Tree height is 10-20 m
Bole length is 0-10 m


Product Sources
The ITTO reports that timber from this species is produced regularly but it is exported only in low volumes.

Wenge is always in limited supply on the US market. Some reasons for this are low yield from logs because of high waste from mulot or heavy worm infestation, supply problems from sources in Africa, and less demand on the market for darker colored woods. The wood is used almost exclusively for architectural purposes such as paneling and furniture pieces. Suppliers are reported to to be offering Wenge more frequently in recent years. Prices are often in the high range.

Substitutes
Wacapou (Vouacapoua americana), Aramatta (Diplotropis purpurea) and Pao rosa (Swartzia fistuloides)

Comments
Exposure lightens color of wood

General finishing qualities are rated as satisfactory

Lumber is occasionally left in the sun on purpose to lighten the color (sometimes requested by importers of Wenge)

Blunting Effect
Blunting effect on machining is slight
Medium effect
Blunting effect on machining is moderate
Blunting effect on machining is fairly severe


Boring
Fairly difficult to very difficult
Easy


Carving
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is easy
Cutting Resistance with green wood is difficult
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is easy
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is difficult
Cleanly but slowly


Gluing
Difficult to glue
Easy to glue


Mortising
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to mortise


Moulding
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to mould


Movement in Service
Small
Fairly stable

There are reports of significant movement in use in actual installations.

Nailing
Difficult to nail
Possible if prebored
Holds nails well


Planing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to plane

The timber is fairly easy to work with machine tools.

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Permeable heartwood
Permeable sapwood
Resistant sapwood
Heartwood is extremely resistant
Sapwood is permeable


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Easy to machine
Difficult to machine
Good response


Routing & Recessing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Sanding
Fair sanding qualities


Turning
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Easy to turn
Poor results
Good results
Good results


Veneering Qualities
Too heavy for plywood manufacture
Diifficult to veneer


Polishing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Poor results
Satisfactory results
Requires a filler
Rather difficult to polish


Varnishing
Weathering properties are very poor
Solvent-Based stains may dry with difficulty


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Density (dry weight) = 61-67 lbs/cu. ft.
Bending strength (MOR) = very high
Density (dry weight) = 53-60 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = high
Bending strength (MOR) = high
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = high
Max. crushing strength = very high
Hardness (side grain) = very hard
Shrinkage, Tangential = very small
Shrinkage, Tangential = large
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = large
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very high
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Weight = very high
Strength properties vary with density
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = medium
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Hardness (side grain) = hard
Density = very high
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = very high


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength1468422019psi
Density54lbs/ft3
Hardness2235lbs
Maximum Crushing Strength735511021psi
Shearing Strength2840psi
Stiffness207123791000 psi
Specific Gravity0.650.83
Weight5755lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage6%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength10321548kg/cm2
Density865kg/m3
Hardness1013kg
Maximum Crushing Strength517774kg/cm2
Shearing Strength199kg/cm2
Stiffness1451671000 kg/cm2
Specific Gravity0.650.83
Weight913881kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage3%

References
Bois et Forets des Tropiquies,1952,Wenge,Bois et Forets des Tropiques,No.25 pp.329-332

Bolza, E., Keating, W.G.,1972,African Timbers - the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 700 Species,C.S.I.R.O. Div. of Building Research

Chudnoff, M.,1984,Tropical Timbers of the World,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products,Laboratory, Madison.

Erfurth, T., Rusche, H.,1976,The Marketing of Tropical Wood A. Wood Species from African Moist Forests,F.A.O. Forestry Department

Farmer, R.H.,1972,Handbook of Hardwoods,HMSO

Fouarge, J.,1970,Essais Physiques,Mecaniques et de Durabilite de Bois de la Republique,Democratique du Congo,I.N.E.A.C. Belgium Serie Technique,No.76

France - C.T.F.T.,1966,Bois Tropicaux,C.T.F.T. Publ.,12

HMSO. 1972. Handbook of Hardwoods. 2nd Edition. Revised by R.H. Farmer. Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Hughes, J.F.,1971,The Principal Timber Trees of Cameroon,Unpublished data

ITTO. 1986. Tropical Timber Atlas, Volume 1 - Africa. International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and Centre Technique Forestier Tropical (CTFT, 45bis, Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, Nogent-sur-Marne Cedex, France.

Jay, B.A.,1968,Timbers of West Africa,TRADA, Red Booklet Series

Kaiser, J. 1990. Wenge:The Dark, Exotic Wood from Africa. Wood of the Month Annual, Supplement to Wood and Wood Products, September 1990, Page 24A.

Kline, M. 1979. Millettia laurentii - Wenge. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World. Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portlend, Maine. 1994. Page 238.

Lebacq, L., Dechamps, R.,1967,Contribution a un Inventaire de Forets du Nord-kasai,Musee Royal de L'Afrique Centrale Belgium Annals Series 8 No.5

Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc., Fresno, California.

NWFA. 1994. Wood Species Used in Wood Flooring. Technical Publication No. A200. National Wood Flooring Association, Manchester, MO.

Pieters, A.,1977,Essences Forestieres du Zaire,R.U.G. Gent Belguim

Rendle, B.J.,1969,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Ernest Benn Ltd. London

Revue des Bois et de ses Applications,1957,Wenge (Millettia laurentii,Revue des Bois et de ses Applications,No12(5, p35

Saint-Aubin, G. de,1963,La Foret du Gabon,CTFT Publ., No.21

Sallenave, P.,1955,Proprietes Phyiques et Mecaniques des Bois Tropicaux de l'Union Francaise,C.T.F.T

Sallenave, P.,1964,Proprietes Physiques et Mecaniques des Bois Tropicaux (Premier Supplement,C.T.F.T. Publ.,no.23

Scott, M.H.,1950,Notes on the more Important African Timbers Imported into the Union with,Special Ref. to Port. E.A. Species,Journal of the South African Forestry Association,No.19,pp18-62,[South,African Forestry Journal]

Takahashi, A.,1978,Compilation of Data on the Mechanical Properties of Foreign Woods (Part,III) Africa,Shimane University, Japan, Research Report on Foreign Wood No. 7

Wood, B., Calnan, D.,1976,Toxic Woods,British Journal of Dermat 94 Suppl. 13








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