Ipe

Scientific name: Tabebuia spp

Geographic origin: Central America and south America.

Description

  • Sapwood: yellowish white colour.
  • Heartwood: dark grey with a very characteristic greenish shade.
  • Fiber: straight, usually intertwined or very intertwined.
  • Grain: thin to medium size.

Capacity of being impregnated

  • Sapwood: medium capacity of being impregnated.
  • Heartwood: low capacity of being impregnated.

Mechanization

  • Sawing process: ordinary problems due to hardness. Fast blunting.
  • Drying process: Slow. Little risk of deformation and crack formation.
  • Planing process: Difficult due to its hardness and high risk of repelling. Slow mechanisation is recommended.
  • Gluing process: tannins hamper proper adherence.
  • Nailing and screwing process: pre-drilling is recommended due to hardness.
  • Finish: rubber deposits can locally hamper varnish adherence.

Physical properties

  • Apparent density at 12% humidity 1.050 kg/m3 very heavy wood.
  • Dimensional stability
  • - Volumetric contraction coefficient 0.41 % stable wood.
  • - Relation between contractions 1.27% no tendency to deformity.
  • Hardness (Chaláis-Meudon) 8.5 very hard wood.

Ipe

Mechanical properties

  • Resistance to static flexion 1,750 kg/cm2.
  • Elasticity module 200,000 kg/cm2.
  • Resistance to compression 890 kg/cm2.

Ipe

Observations

It is currently a very popular sort of wood with much demand and very little supply.
It can be substituted by a large number of other species.