Purpleheart Lumber

Botanical Name: Peltogyne spp.

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Palo morado (Mexico), Morado (Panama, Venezuela), Tananeo (Columbia), Koroboreli (Guyana), Purperhart (Surinam), Amarante (French Guiana), Pau roxo, Guarabu (Brazil), Violetwood (English trade)

Uses: Turnery, marquetry, cabinets, fine furniture, parquet flooring, tool handles, heavy construction, shipbuilding, many specialty items (billiard cue butts, chemical vats, carving)

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Distribution: Center of distribution in the north-middle part of Brazilian Amazon region; combined range of all the species from Mexico through Central America and southward to southern Brazil.

General Characteristics: Trees grow to heights of 170 ft with diameters of 4 ft, but usually 1.5 to 3 ft; boles are straight, cylindrical, and clear 60 to 90 ft above buttresses up to 12 ft high. Heartwood brown when freshly cut, becoming deep purple upon exposure, eventually turning to a dark brown sharply demarcated from the off-white sapwood. Texture medium to fine; luster medium to high, variable; grain is usually straight, sometimes wavy, ropey, or irregular; without distinct odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.67 to 0.91; air-dry density 50 to 66 pcf

Working Properties: Moderately difficult to work with either hand or machine tool, dulls cutters, exudes a gummy resin when heated by dull tools; slow feed rates and specially hardened cutters are suggested. Turns smoothly, easy to glue, and takes finishes well.

Durability: Heartwood is rated as highly durable in resistance to attack by decay fungi; very resistant to dry-wood termites; but little resistance to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood is reported to be extremely resistant to impregnation with preservative oils; sapwood is permeable.

Mechanical Properties

(First set of data based on the 2-in. standard; second on the 2-cm standard; third on the 1-in. standard)

Bending Strength:

Green (75): 13,690 psi
12%: 19,220 psi
Green (30): 21,000 psi
12%: 26,700 psi
12% (24): 30,900 psi

Modules of Elasticity:

Green (75): 2,000 @ 1,000 psi
12%: 2,270 @ 1,000 psi
Green (30): 2,560 @ 1,000 psi
12%: N/A
12% (24): 3,460 @ 1,000 psi

Maximum Crushing Strength:

Green (75): 7,020 psi
12%: 10,320 psi
Green (30): 9,250 psi
12%: 12,200 psi
12% (24): 14,500 psi

Janka side hardness ranges from 1,860 to 3,920 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest ProductsLaboratory toughness at12% moisture content ranges from 157 to 398in.-lb (5/8-in.specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage:

Reports vary, air-dries easily
to moderately difficult; dries slowly to fairly rapidly; with almost no degrade to some warping and splitting.

Kiln Schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.2%; tangential 6.1%; volumetric 9.9%. Stability after manufacture or movement is rated as small.

Bailey Wood Products Kiln Dried Hardwoods

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