Heaviest Wood In The World – And in some parts of Europe called Pockholz or pokhout, from the gus Guaiacum trees. The trees are native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America (e.g. Colombia and Vesuela) and have been used since the 16th century. export to Europe was important at the beginning of In the past wood was very important in situations where a material with a unique combination of strength, hardness and hardness was needed. It is also the national tree of the Bahamas and the national flower of Jamaica.
The wood is usually obtained from the small, slow-growing Guaiacum officinale and Guaiacum sanctum trees. All types of gus Guaiacum are now listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as potentially endangered species. G. sanctum is listed in the IUCN Red List as threatened. The demand for wood has been reduced by modern material technology, which has led to the emergence of polymers, alloys and composite materials that can replace lignum vitae.
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Lignum vitae means “tree of life” in Latin. The plant got its name because of its medicinal use; Lignum vitae resin is used to treat a variety of health conditions, from coughs to arthritis, and wood chips can also be used to make tea.
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Other names for lignum vitae include palo santo (Spanish for “sacred wood”), Aura palo santo, and “bastard greheart” (not to be confused with the true gheart Chlorocardium rodiei, a popular wood for making of the ship, furniture, and turning, but different wood). Lignum vitae is also one of the many hard, dense woods called “ironwood”.
It sinks easily in water. On the Janka hardness scale, which measures the wood’s hardness, lignum vitae ranks highest among commercial woods, with a Janka hardness of 4,500 pounds (compared to Olneya’s 3,260 pounds,
African Ebony 2940lbf, Hickory 1820lbf, Red Oak 1290lbf, Yellow Pine 690lbf, Balsa 100lbf). The largest of all the trees is Allocasuarina luehmannii.
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Different hardwoods can also be called lignum vitae and should not be confused with it. The best known from Bulnesia arborea and Bulnesia sarmitoi (in the same subfamily as Guaiacum) and known as verawood or Argtine lignum vitae; they are quite similar to guine lignum vitae in appearance and working properties. Some hardwoods from Australia (such as Vitex lignum-vitae and some species of acacia and eucalyptus) are also called lignum vitae.
The tree grows slowly and is relatively small in size, mature and old. It bears small, purple-blue flowers that produce pairs of orange fruits. The skin is mottled.
Because of the size of the tree, cricket tips, especially the “heavy tips” used in windy conditions, are sometimes made from lignum vitae. It is also sometimes used to make lawn bowls, croquet mallets and bowling balls. Wood is also widely used in pestles and mortars and wood carvers’ hammers.
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This was the traditional wood used to make British police batons, until its thickness (and strength), combined with the relative softness of wood compared to metal, resulted in bruising or stunning rather than cutting the skin. .
The pins and tacks of the USS Constitution and many other sailing ships were made of lignum vitae. Due to their density and natural oils, they rarely need to be changed, even in normal sea weather conditions, and are also resistant to jamming in their recesses. Sailboat block sheaves were made from lignum vitae until the advent of modern synthetic materials.
Due to the strength of lignum vitae, it can also be used as a bezel for cutting gemstones.
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The wood is coated with industrial diamond powder, which is attached to the shaft and used to smooth the rough surfaces of the gemstones.
Clockmaker John Harrison used lignum vitae in the bearings and gears of his pdulmic clocks and the first three marine chronometers (which were all large clocks) because the wood is self-lubricating. With lignum vitae, it is not necessary to use oil to lubricate the watch; In an 18th century watch, the oil would become viscous and reduce the watch’s accuracy in adverse conditions (including those that exist at sea).
For the same reason, it is widely used in water-lubricated bearings in ships and hydroelectric shafts,
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In the 1960s sealed white metal bearings were introduced. According to the San Francisco Marine National Park Association website, the shaft bearings of the World War II submarine USS Pampanito (SS-383) were made from this wood.
The aft mainshaft strut bearings of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world’s first nuclear submarine, were made from this wood. In addition, the original 20th century The turbine bearings of the 1920s Conowing hydroelectric plant on the lower Susquehanna River were made of lignum vitae. The horizontal turbine shaft bearings at the Pointe du Bois Treatment Plant in Manitoba are made of lignum vitae. Other hydroelectric turbine bearings, many of which are still in use, were made with lignum vitae and are too numerous to list here.
The United Railroads of San Francisco (ancestor of the San Francisco Municipal Railroad) began installing insulators made of composite materials to support the heavy 600 volt direct supply wires of their trolley system. These lines are corrupted like most others. in 1906 during the earthquake and subsequent fires. The restoration of the trolley system and its expansion to replace the funicular tracks that were destroyed by the earthquake created a great demand for insulators, and the forward manufacturers could not meet the demand. The properties of Lignum vitae, which is its ability to withstand high tension (due to long lengths of heavy cables and tension of lines around corners) and high temperature (due to to the fact that supply cables are very hot during peak hours) and their availability. . from ships in port (used as dunnage and ballast) becomes an ideal “temporary” solution. Many were still in use in the 1970s, and the last few were replaced by an underground supply system in the 2000s.
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It is also used extensively on British Railways Mark 1 rolling stock as a ‘stop’ on bogies (the frame on which the wheels are carried).
Bvuto Cellini tells us that he used lignum vitae (probably in the form of a tea) to cure himself of a severe disease (called “Frch Pox”, probably syphilis).
According to T. H. White’s version of King Arthur, The One and the Future King, the lignum vitae from which Merlin’s wand was made had magical powers.
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In Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera, one of the main characters’ houses has a bathtub made of this wood. His novel Chronicle of Death Foretold also mentions the use of this tree to make a walking stick for the blind Poncio Vicario.
In Charles Dicks’ novel Bleak House, one of the characters, Matthew Bagnet, is called lignum vitae, “…from the singular hardness and firmness of his physiognomy.”
In Philip Pullman’s novel The Secret Commonwealth, the heroine Lyra Belacqua carries a staff made of lignum vitae as a weapon. Infographics / Metals, elements and materials / 75 types of wood classified by Janka hardness and how they are used.
Lignum Vitae Mortar And Pestle, 17th Century
The Janka hardness scale measures the force required to insert a steel ball into the center of a wood sample. The ball is 0.444 inches in diameter and is fired with increasing force. The pounds of force (or newtons if you’re using the metric system) needed to push the ball to the center is the Janka value you get. This is a good way to determine the resistance of a piece of wood to dents and wear. Our Janka wood hardness table shows how strong some types of wood are.
The strongest tree in the world according to Janka’s standard is the Australian boxwood, which can withstand a force of more than 5,000 pounds.
Used in soft surfboards and musical instruments, balsa is the softest wood in the world. Our tree chart includes the top ten, lowest ranked tree hardness scale:
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From native forests, black ironwood is often the strongest wood you’ll find in America. It is found in Florida and has a Janka rating of 3,660 lb (16,280 N). Other hardwoods in North America include hickory, maple, oak, walnut, and beech. The pines and poplars, which are produced mostly in America, are small on Janka’s scale, but they are very abundant and useful.
Whether you’re trying to decide between maple or oak, poplar or pine, or expensive hardwood and native wood, Janka’s scale can help. Ask yourself things like, “Is it fine hardwood or softwood and will it work for my project?” Since there are many species of pine, it can have a higher or lower Janka hardness depending on the species. Note that our tree strength chart also lists their uses, from flooring to instruments.
There are so many types of wood; use our hardwood hardness scale to find out what
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