Zebrawood

zebrawood

Common Name(s): Zebrawood, ZebranoScientific Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis

Distribution: West Africa

Tree Size: 150 ft (46 m) tall, 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (860 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .64, .86

Janka Hardness: 2,097 lbf (9.330 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 20,000 lbf/in2 (137.9 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,340,000 lbf/in2 (16.10 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,600 lbf/in2 (66.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 6.8%, Tangential: 11.5%, Volumetric: 16.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.7

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light brown or cream color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes. Depending on whether the wood is flatsawn or quartersawn, the stripes can be either chaotic and wavy (flatsawn), or somewhat uniform (quartersawn).

Grain/Texture: Has a fairly coarse texture and open pores. Grain is usually wavy or interlocked.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; deposits (brown) occasionally present; growth rings distinct due to marginal parenchyma; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged or lozenge), and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Heartwood is rated as durable and is also resistant to insect damage.

Workability: The wood saws well, but can be very difficult to plane or surface due to the prevalence of interlocking grain. Tearout is common. Zebrawood glues and finishes well, though a pore filler may be desired for the large open pores of the wood’s grain.

Odor: Has a characteristic, unpleasant smell when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Zebrawood has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Zebrawood tends to be fairly expensive, though usually not as prohibitively expensive as other exotics such as Ebony or Rosewood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range.

Common Uses: Zebrawood is frequently quartersawn and used as veneer. Other uses include: tool handles, furniture, boatbuilding, and skis.

Comments: Zebrawood is strong and stiff, with a fairly high density. Stability is below average for a tropical exotic wood.