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Blunting Effect
Boring
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Light-Induced Color Change
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Staining
Strength Properties
Synonyms
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Myroxylon balsamum

Trade Name
Santos mahogany

Family Name
Leguminosae

Synonyms
Myroxylon toluiferum, Toluifera balsamum


Wood Image 1

Wood Image 1

Wood Image 1

Common Names
Arbol de balsamo, Balsamito, Balsamo, Balsamo de Matagalpa, Balsamo de San Salvador, Balsamo de tolu, Balsamo de Valle, Balsamo del Peru, Balsamo negro, Balsamo-caboriba, Bosnian pine, Cabore, Caboreiba vermelha, Caboriba, Cabreuva, Cabreuva parda, Cabreuva vermelha, Cabriziva, Cedro chino, Chana-chana, Chirraca, Chucte, Estoraque, Greybark pine, Hoitziloxitl, Incienso, Incienso colorado, Kina, Kina morado, Kinakina, Marimbo, Naba, Nabal, Oleo de caboreiba, Oleo vermelho, Palo de balsamo, Pau de balsamo, Pau vermelho, Pino de Calabria, Quina, Quina estoracque, Quina morada, Quina-quina, Sandalo, Sangue de gato, Santos mahogany, Tache, Tolu, Ulor, Yaga-guienite

Regions of Distribution
Central America, Latin America

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay

Common Uses
Agricultural implements, Boat building (general), Boat building: framing, Bridge construction, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Carvings, Chairs, Chemical derivatives, Chests, Concealed parts (Furniture), Crossties, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Domestic flooring, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Factory flooring, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Flooring: industrial heavy traffic, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Handles: general, Hatracks, Heavy construction, Interior construction, Interior trim, Joinery (external): ground contact, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Ladders, Light construction, Living-room suites, Millwork, Mine timbers, Moldings, Office furniture, Paneling, Parquet flooring, Plywood, Posts, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Railroad ties, Rustic furniture, Shingles, Sporting Goods, Stools, Structural work, Sub-flooring, Tables , Tool handles, Trimming, Turnery, Utility furniture, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Veneer: decorative, Wainscotting, Wardrobes

Environmental Profile
Status unknown due to inadequate information
Extinct, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Rare within parts of its range
Data source is World Conservation Monitoring Center

This species is officially classified as either Extinct, Endangered, Vulnerable or Rare in Costa Rica, but there is not enough information to determine which specific class it falls into. Still quite abundant in Bolivia and Peru.

Distribution Overview
The range of this species extends over a wide area from southern Mexico southward through Central America to Argentina.

Heartwood Color
Brown
Red
Purple
Pink
Reddish brown
Purple
Red
Dark brown
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Purplish
Darkens after prolonged exposure

Color variation is moderate between boards.

Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
White to yellow
Well defined


Grain
Figure
Straight
Interlocked
Stripe (figure)
Distinct (figure)
Even
Closed
Wavy

Straight
Interlocked
Striped figure
Distinct and very fine figure
Wavy
Distinct figure

Quartersawn material usually exhibits a striped figure

Texture
Medium
Fine
Medium
Fine to medium
Very fine
Fine
Even textured


Luster
Medium
Lustrous
Pronounced
Medium to high


Natural Growth Defects
Gum and mineral deposits


Natural Durability
Non-durable
Perishable
Resistant to termites
Non-resistant to powder post beetles
Non-resistant to marine borers
Susceptible to insect attack
Very durable
Durable
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Resistant to attack from termites (Isoptera)
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Heartwood has high natural resistance to attack by fungi


Odor
Wood has a spicy odor
No specific taste


Light-Induced Color Change
Darker


Toxicity
Sawdust may cause respiratory irritation in some individuals


Drying Defects
Splitting
Distortion


Kiln Drying Rate
Rapid
Drying rate is fairly rapid to fast


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


Tree Size
Tree height is 30-40 m
Tree height is 20-30 m
Bole length is 10-20 m
Sapwood width is 0-5 cm
Sapwood width is 5-10 cm
Bole length is 0-10 m
Bark width is 20-25 mm
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm


Product Sources
The ITTO reports that timber from this species is produced at a low volume. Export potential is rated as fair.

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Blunting Effect
Rather high effect
Blunting effect on machining is fairly severe


Boring
Fairly easy to very easy


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Moderate to fairly difficult to saw

The timber is moderately difficult to saw because of hardness

Mortising
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Moulding
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results


Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement


Nailing
Fair to Good Results
Pre-Boring Recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Holds nails well


Planing
Poor to Very Poor Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Special attention required
Difficult to plane

Responds poorly to planing, turning, moulding, boring and mortising and is somewhat difficult to work in all machining operations. Cutting edges of tools are dulled rather rapidly. Carbide-tipped tools are recommended

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Resistant sapwood
Heartwood is extremely resistant
Difficult to treat with preservatives


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Moderate working qualities
Difficult to machine
Poor machining properties due to severe and rapid dulling of cutting edges
Fair response to hand tools


Sanding
Satisfactory sanding characteristics


Turning
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results


Veneering Qualities
Veneers moderately easy
Difficult to veneer
Veneers easily
Suitable for peeling


Painting
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results


Polishing
Good results
Excellent results


Staining
Poor results


Varnishing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Strength Properties
Max. crushing strength = high
Hardness (side grain) = very hard
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Bending strength (MOR) = high
Density (dry weight) = 61-67 lbs/cu. ft
Density (dry weight) = 53-60 lbs/cu. ft
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = medium
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very high
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = high
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Density (dry weight) = 67-75 lbs/cu.ft
Shrinkage, Tangential = very small
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = high
Very heavy
Very hard
Very dense
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Max. crushing strength = very high
Heavy
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = high
Bending strength (MOR) = very high

Bending strength in the air-dry condition (about 12 percent moisture content) is exceptionally high. It is far superior in strength to either Teak or Hard maple. It is hard - harder than Teak, and does not marr or dent easily. It is a very heavy wood. The density of the wood is very high

Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength1456620367psi
Crushing Strength15752453psi
Density56lbs/ft3
Hardness2600lbs
Maximum Crushing Strength772411110psi
Shearing Strength2677psi
Stiffness198623291000 psi
Toughness353inch-lbs
Specific Gravity0.7
Weight5548lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage6%
Volumetric Shrinkage10%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength10241431kg/cm2
Crushing Strength110172kg/cm2
Density897kg/m3
Hardness1179kg
Maximum Crushing Strength543781kg/cm2
Shearing Strength188kg/cm2
Stiffness1391631000 kg/cm2
Toughness406cm-kg
Specific Gravity0.7
Weight881769kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage6%

References
Acosta-Solis, M.,1960,Maderas Economicas del Ecuador y sus Usos,Editorial Casa de la Culhra Ecuatoriana Quito

Berni, C.A., Bolza, E., Christensen, F.J.,1979,South American Timbers - The Characteristics, Properties and Uses of 190,Species,C.S.I.R.O Div. Building Research

Brazier, J.D., Franklin, G.L.,1967,An Appraisal of the Wood Characteristics and Potential Uses of some,Nicaraguan Timbers,FAO for Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough

Chichignoud, M., G. Deon, P. Detienne, B. Parant and P. Vantomme. 1990. Tropical Timber Atlas of Latin America. International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO, Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Division of CIRAD, 45 bis Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, Nogent-sur-Marne, CEDEX, France.

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

Ducke, A.,1943,The Most Important Woods of the Amazon Valley,Tropical Woods,12(74,pp1-15

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

Fanshawe, D.B.,1954,Forest Products of British Guiana Part 1 Principal Timbers,Forest Department British Guiana Forestry Bulletin (New Series 2nd,Edition,No.1

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

Kribs, D.A.,1950,Commercial and Foreign Woods on the American Market (a manual to their,structure, identification, uses and distribution,U.S.A. Penn. State College, Tropical Woods Laboratory

Kynoch, W., Norton, N.A.,1938,Mechanical Properties of certain tropical woods chiefly from S. America,School of Forestry and Conservation, University of Michigan Bulletin,No.7

Little, E.L.,1948,A Collection of Tree Specimens from Western Ecuador,Caribbean Forester,9(3,pp215-98

Mainieri, C., Pereira, J.A.,1965,Madeiras do Brasil,Anuario Brasileiro de Economia Florestal,17(17,PP135-416

Mainieri, C.,1978,Fichas de Caracteristicas das Madeiras Brasileiras,Inst. Pesquisas Technologicas

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

Record, S.J., Hess, R.W.,1943,Timbers of the New World,Yale University Press

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

Rizzini, C.T.,1978,Arvores e Madeiras Uteis do Brasil: Manual de Dendrologia Brasileira,Editora Edgard Blucher LTDA Brazil

Saks, E.V.,1954,Tropical Hardwoods for veneer Production in Mexico,Caribbean Forester,15(3&4, pp112-9

Sao Paulo - Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas,1956,Tabelas de Resultados obtidos para Madeiras Nacionais,Inst. Pesq. Tec. Sao Paulo, Brazil Bol., No.31(2nd Ed.)

Scheffer, T.C., Duncan, C.G.,1947,The Decay Resistance of certain Central American and Ecuadorian Woods,Tropical Woods,12(92, PP1-24

Slooten van der, H.J., Martinez, E.P.,1959,Descripcion y propiedades de algunas madeiras Venezolanas,Inst. for Lation Americano de Investigacion y Capaciticion Boletin,Informaturo Dirulgaturo

Takahashi, A.,1975,Compilation of data on the Mechanical Properties of Foreign Woods (Part 2,Central and South America,Shimane University, Japan, Research Report on Foreign Wood No.4

Teixeira, D. E., M. A. E. Santana and M. Rabelo de Souza. 1988. Amazonian Timbers for the International Market. ITTO Technical Series 1. Brazilian Institute for Forestry Development, Brazil.

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1943,West Indian Locust (Hymenaea courbaril) and Cabreuva vermelho (Myroxylon,toluiferum,TRADA, Timber Leaflet,79

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1948,Notes on Ecuadorian Timbers,TRADA, Timber Information,35,pp5

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

Timber Development Association,1948,Some New Timbers and Their Uses No. 34,Timber Development Association Limited, London [TRADA]

Tropical Woods,1968,Madeiras Comercias Brasileiras,Inst. Pesq. Tec. Sao Paulo Brazil Publ.,857

Volkart, C.,1965,Recopilacion dedatos sobre propiedacies y usos maderos del Bosque Tropical,de las Costa Atlantica de Nicaragua,Turrialba,15(1, pp43-57








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