Is ironwood a hardwood

The hardest wood in the world

Woods that are so hard and dense that it is practically impossible to hammer in a nail and that do not float in the water are colloquially referred to as "ironwood". Several types of wood compete for the crown of the hardest wood in the world. While some sources define the dark bongossi as the hardest wood in the world, other sources describe the pockwood of the guaiac tree as the hardest wood. The hardness of wood is determined using the Janka Wood hardness scale, the force required to embed an 11.28 mm steel ball in the wood.

Bongossi - tropical deciduous tree

Bongossi is known as "Red Ironwood" in English-speaking countries. In fact, it is a tropical type of wood with an extremely high density. It is record-breaking 1.10 and 1.20 g / cm³. For comparison: oak, the hardest native wood species, has a density of 0.67 to 0.70 g / cm³. Bongossi is a deciduous tree that grows in the tropical rainforests of Africa. The hardwood has a dark, red-brown color and is extremely weather-resistant. The wood is not buoyant due to its enormous density. In the water it sinks like a stone. Driving in a nail is only possible with a drill hole. As with teak, the high oil content in the wood acts as a natural protective mechanism.

Pockwood from the guaiac tree

Pockwood from the guaiac tree has a density of approx. 1.2 g / cm³ and competes with bongossi for the rank of the hardest wood in the world. The evergreen tree grows in the subtropical and tropical regions of the American continent and is found increasingly in the Amazon rainforest. The wood is very rich in resin and was used for shipbuilding centuries ago due to its resistance to external influences. The self-lubricating properties of this type of wood are a special feature. Even bearings and shafts can be made from the tropical hardwood. Since the guaiac tree is endangered in its existence through centuries of clearing, the international trade in the hardwood is subject to approval.

Ipe wood from the lapacho tree

Ipe is the name of a wood that comes from several species of the lapacho tree. With an average density of 1.2 g / cm³, Ipe competes for the title of “hardest wood in the world” with the two types of wood described above. Lapacho trees are common in Central and South America. The inner bark is used to make tea. This tradition goes back to the Incas. In terms of the risk of splintering and dimensional stability, Ipe wood has properties similar to teak wood. The wood color varies from brown to olive. Because of the intensive management of forest areas in Latin America and the associated decline in tree populations, some countries in South and Central America have placed lapacho trees under species protection. However, there is no international agreement that regulates the trade in Ipe wood.

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How hard is teak?

Teak appears on the Janka Wood hardness scale with a rating from 1000 to 1155, which is harder than mahogany, cedar, white pine, chestnut, and poplar.

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