Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Zingana (Gabon), Allen ele (Cameroon).

Distribution: West Africa, mainly in Gabon and Cameroon, gregarious, sometimes in pure stands along riverbanks.

The Tree: A tall tree to 150 ft; bole straight and cylindrical but relatively short, up to 50 ft; trunk diameters 4 to 5 ft over low buttresses.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale yellow brown with narrow darker streaks, striping pattern varies considerably; sapwood white up to 4 in. wide, distinct. Texture medium to coarse; grain usually wavy or interlocked; lustrous; unpleasant odor disappears after drying.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) about 0.70; air-dry density 53 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

12% (44) 17,200 NA 8,500

12% (47) 22,800 2,340 10,700

Amsler toughness 550 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Difficult to season without warping, should be quartersawn to minimize degrade. Kiln schedule T2-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 6.8%; tangential 1.5% volumetric 16.5%

Working Properties: Saws fairly well, a clean smooth finish is sometimes difficult to obtain with machine or hand planing, tearing of interlocked grain; good gluing properties, veneers need careful handling to avoid cracking.

Durability: Heartwood is durable and resistant to termite attack.

Preservation: Heartwood extremely resistant; sapwood permeable.

Uses: Decorative veneers, turnery. Because of high toughness, used in ski manufacture, tool handles, etc.

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