SALI
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Tetragastris spp.
Sali
Masa
Family: Burseraceae
 
 
Other Common Names: Masa, Palo de aceite (Puerto Rico), Kerosen (Nicaragua), Palo de cerdo, Aguarras (Colombia), Haiawaballi (Guyana), Gommier, Encens rouge (French Guiana), Almesca (Brazil).
 
Distribution: West Indies, Central America, and northern South America. Widely distributed and locally frequent in the high forests of Surinam.
 
 
The Tree: Varies with species but may reach a height of 100 ft with diameters up to 28 in. Boles with a few buttresses, of moderately good form, and clear for 30 to 40 ft.
 
The Wood:
General Characteristics: Heartwood orange brown; rather sharply demarcated from the yellowish-brown sapwood. Luster medium to rather high; texture fine; grain mostly irregular to distinctly roey; without distinctive taste, but with fragrant balsamic scent. A silica content of 0.13% is reported.
 
 
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.63 to 0.78; air-dry density 48 to 61 pcf.
 
Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in. standard, the third set on the 1-in. standard.)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%)                                          (Psi)                 (1,000 Psi)                  (Psi)
green (74)                             12,380             1,650                          5,460
12%                                        16,090             1,890                          8,380
green (25)                              12,300             1,940                          6,800
12%                                        15,200             2,180                          8,300
12% (24)                                19,400             2,410                         10,200
Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content 1,770 to 2,170 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material 223 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).
 
 
Drying and Shrinkage: Seasoning properties vary with species from rapid drying with little or no degrade to rather slow drying with a tendency to check and split. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.4%; tangential 8.5%; volumetric 13.9%.
 
Working Properties: Reported to be moderately difficult to moderately easy to machine, varying with species. Steam-bending characteristics are fair to good.
 
 
Durability: Heartwood is rated durable to very durable in its resistance to both brown-rot and white-rot fungi, but only somewhat resistant to attack by dry-wood termites.
 
Preservation: Heartwood is highly resistant to preservation treatments; however sapwood is reported as responsive.
 
 
Uses: Heavy construction, flooring, furniture, interior trim, slack cooperage, railroad crossties. Suggested as a substitute for birch and maple.
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