One of the most readily available tropical hardwoods suitable for exterior use. It is becoming more popular as an alternative to Teak when a cost saving is required.
Commercial Names: Kambala & Odum, sometimes known as "African Teak"
Distribution: West & East Africa
General Description: Golden-orange to brown which darkens over time, lighter vessel lines conspicuous on flat sawn surfaces. The material may contain large, hard deposits of calcium carbonate in cavities & the wood around them may be darker in colour. The grain is interlocked & sometimes irregular & the texture rather coarse, but even. The weight is 640kg/m3 (40lb/ft3); specific gravity .64.
Seasoning: Dries fairly rapidly & well without much degrade, there is small movement in service.
Durability: The heartwood is very durable & is extremely resistant to preservative treatment. The sapwood is permeable. Iroko does not require regular treatment with oil or varnish when used outdoors. Although it is almost as durable as teak it does not have the same stability.
Uses: Ship & boat building, interior & exterior joinery, laboratory benches, furniture making & carving. It is a structural timber suitable for piling & marine work & for domestic flooring. As well as other types of hardwoods we use top quality Iroko in many of our hardwood Conservatories & Orangeries.
Comments: This is possibly the most ideal inexpensive (compared to Teak) tropical hardwood for exterior use. It is often used as an alternative to Teak particularly when a cost saving is required. In fact in Ireland it is used to such a large extent for windows, doors & frames, that it is referred to in Ireland as "Irish Teak".