Purpleheart

 
Scientific Name

Peltogyne pubescens

Family

Caesalpiniaceae (Leguminosae)

Standard Name

Amarante

Other Name

Amaranth Nazareno, Pau Roxo, Bois Violet, Barabu

Wood Appearance

Dull brown when freshly cut and rapidly oxidizes to violet-purple on exposure to light, gradually toning down in course of time to dark purplish-brown. The sapwood is whitish or cream coloured and grain is generally straight, sometimes wavy or interlocked. The texture is moderate to fine. The bole is 15-27m in length, cylindrical; diameter 45-90 (-150) cm.

Physical and Mechanical Properties

Wood is very tough, strong and resilient:

  • Air dried density (12%) - 840 kg/m3

  • Bending strength (at 12%) - 155 N/mm2

  • Modulus of elasticity (at 12%) - 16860 N/mm2

  • Compression parallel to grain - 78.5 N/mm2

  • Crushing strength (at 12%) - 79 N/mm2

  • Shock resistance- medium.

Natural Durability

Highly resistant to decay, termites and fire. The heartwood is very durable and extremely resistant to preservatives while the sapwood is permeable.

Timber Processing

Drying

Dries very slowly with minor degrade, particularly in the thicker sizes. Distortion is not serious, but checking and splitting may occur. Kiln schedule B.


Working

Power required with blunting effect being moderate to high. Turns well. Planing is not difficult despite the high density of the wood and interlocked grain.


Assembly

Easy gluing. Pre-boring is recommended for nails and screws. Good nail holding.


Finishing

Staining rarely necessary. Polishes satisfactorily.

Uses

A very heavy, hard timber, suitable for use under exacting conditions. Outstanding in most of its strength properties and of very high durability with excellent resistant to attack by marine borers.


Available in very large sizes and long length, and is suitable for piling, piers, lock gates, dock and harbor works. Useful for pier decking and hand rails, flooring and in the engineering industry as bearers for engines. Gives good service in chemical plants for vats, filter press plates and frames.


Suitable for joinery in both exterior and interior situations, and used also for fishing rods and as centre laminar for longbows and general construction.

Supplies

Found in commercial quantities only in Guyana's forest.