Commercial names:

Assie (Cameroon); sipo (Ivory Coast).

Other names:

Tshimaje rosso (Zaire); mebrou zuiri (Ivory Coast); kosi-kosi (Gabon); afau-konkonti (Ghana).

Distribution:

West and East Africa.

General description:

The heartwood matures from a pink-brown when fresh cut to deep red-brown. The grain is interlocked to rather irregular, producing a wide irregular striped figure on quartered surfaces. Weight varies from 550-750 kg/m3 (34-47  1b/ft3), but averages 660 kg/m3 (41  1b/ft3). The specific gravity is .66. The texture is uniformly moderate.

Mechanical properties:

This heavy density timber has a medium bending strength and a high crushing strength; with low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. It has a very poor steam bending classification as it buckles severely.

Seasoning:

The timber dries fairly rapidly with a tendency for twisting to occur in the process. If allowed to dry moderately slowly, the degrade is not severe. Also, additional shakes tend to extend and there is medium movement in service.

Working properties:

Utile works well with both hand and machine tools with a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges, a reduced cutting angle will prevent tearing the interlocked grain on quartered material. Nailing is satisfactory, it glues and stains well. Also when filled, it can be brought to a good finish.

Durability:

The timber is durable, the sapwood is liable to attack by powder post beetle and the heartwood is moderately resistant to termites in West Africa. It is extremely resistant to preservative treatment and to decay.

Uses:

It is used for furniture, cabinetmaking, counter tops, high-class exterior and interior joinery, flooring, boat building and planking, musical instruments and sports goods. Selected material used for plywood manufacture and sliced for decorative veneers.