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Tatabu
Diplotropis purpurea
Sucupira
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Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Botonallare, Peonia (Venezuela), Tatabu, Aramatta (Guyana), Zwarte kabbes (Surinam), Coeur dehors (French Guiana), Sapupira, Supupira, Sucupira (Brazil).

Distribution: Uplands of the Guianas and in para and Amazonas in Brazil. Fairly common in parts of Brazil and French Guiana, infrequent in Surinam and Guyana.

The Tree Commonly 90 to 100 ft in height and 16 to 24 in. in diameter, occasionally up to 40 in. The bole is usually straight, cylindrical, unbuttressed, and clear to lengths of 60 to 70 ft.

The Wood General Characteristics: Freshly cut heartwood is generally chocolate brown turning to a lighter brown when dry, occasionally grayish brown, with fine lighter parenchyma stripes; sharply demarcated from whitish or yellowish sapwood. Texture coarse; grain usually straight to slightly interlocked or slightly wavy; luster medium to high and golden, often with a waxy appearance; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven-dry weight/green volume) 0.78; air-dry density 58 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of values based on the 2-in. standard; second set on the 1-in. standard.)

 

Moisture content

Bending strength

Modulus of elasticity

Maximum crushing strength

 

Psi

1,000 Psi

Psi

Green (73)

17,400

2,680

8,020

12%

20,560

2,870

12,140

12% (24)

20,900

3,140

12,300

15%

12,400

------

6,620

Janka side hardness 1980 lb. for green material and 2,140 lb. at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 201 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood is moderately difficult to air season and rapid drying results in some checking and warping. Considerable checking and warping will occur in kiln-drying unless a mild schedule is used; T7-B3 has been suggested for 4/4 stock. Shrinkage green to oven-dry: radial 4.6%; tangential 7.0%; volumetric 11.8%.

Working Properties: The wood is moderately difficult to work and resulting surfaces, especially in planing, are fair to poor due to the coarse texture and frequent grain irregularity. The wood turns well and takes a good finish if filler is first applied.

Durability: In laboratory evaluations, the heartwood is rated very durable in resistance to both white-rot and brown-rot fungi. Other evaluations rate the wood as moderately durable; highly resistant to attack by dry-wood termites; not resistant to marine borers.

Preservation: If there is good end-grain exposure, absorption and penetration of preserving solutions are adequate using either open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems.

Uses: Heavy construction work, boat building, flooring, furniture components, turnery, railroad crossties, and tool handles.

Source: Tropical Timbers of the World, U.S. Forest Products Laboratory.


S P E C I E S


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