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Greenheart 2 X 4
Rodial (Family: Lauraceae)
exceptionally high strength properties even when weight is taken into
account. Weight about 1030 kg/m (64 lbs./ft.) seasoned. Bending
strength 181 N/mm (26200 1 bg/in.) Modules of elasticity 2100 n/mm
(3040,00 lb ft./in.) Compression parallel to grain 89.9 N/mm (3040 1
Almost immune to decay and termites, highly resistant
organisms and fire.
very slowly with minor degrade, particularly in the thicker sizes.
Discoloration is not serious, but splitting
and checking may occur. Kiln schedule B.
Working: Easily sawn, in spite of a slight bunting effect. Turns well. Planning not difficult despite the high density of the wood and inter-locking grain.
is recommended for nails and screws.
necessary. Polishes satisfactorily
A very heavy, hard timber, suitable for use under exacting conditions, outstanding in most of its strength properties, and of very high durability and having excellent resistance to attack from marine borers. Available in very large sizes and long lengths, and therefore suitable for pilings, piers, lock gates, docks and harbor works. Useful for pier decking and hand rails, flooring, and in the engineering industry as bearers for engines. Gives good service in chemical plants for vats, filter press plates and frames. Suitable for joinery in both exterior and interior situations, and used also for fishing rods and center laminar for long bows and general construction.
is three to five times stronger
than domestic species in every relevant physical property.
woods must be treated to increase durability. The treatment process is
toxic and may leave the wood up to 33% weaker than prior to treatment.
Untreated and natural, Greenheart
will out last treated domestic wood at a ratio of approximately
three to one. Replacement material and construction costs are significantly reduced when Greenheart is installed.
Round Greenheart piles
have an average taper of only 1” on diameter for every 15 lineal
feet (lft.), thereby offering a larger surface area for bearing and
friction piles. A
slight taper also results in a pile containing more wood per lineal
ft. As opposed to a square pile, round piles will not present a design
of fasting problem should they turn during the driving process.
has the highest fire
resistance rating of any wood used in marine
is exempt from the Buy America Act.
density offers a unique defense against ice and abrasion.
Used by many cities, states, and federal agencies, only Greenheart
has proven successful in their ice defense systems for bridge
abutments and ferry racks.
and untreated, Greenheart
is approved by The Department
of Agriculture for
use in meat carrying refrigerator cars.
will not affect wildlife, water quality or other ecosystems, nor will
it mar white hulls of pleasure craft.
leaves no floating debris, as its specific gravity is greater
possesses a high co-efficient of friction that gives it a non-slip
attractive property when wet or even when coated with a film of oil or
superior strength properties will result in a substantial savings
on the original construction and material and installation costs.
shoes are rarely necessary for driving in most areas.
material, fewer connections sites, less hardware, installation and
and replacement are minimal due to Greenheart’s
hardness and distribution of shock and impact
Greenheart’s acid content is very low, calculated at 0.48% of acetic acid in air dried wood, which represents a very low corrosive effect on nails, spikes and metal fasteners.
Greenheart marine decking
in any marine installation
involving the use of wood
that it is subject to
salt water action is that of deterioration due to the action of marine
bores such as teredo and limnoria, and to decay due to the
formation of wood forming fungi.
In this connection, it may be noted that the distribution and
density of marine bores is
constantly changing. A single teredo
may have as many as 500,000 offspring in one season,
reproduction starting when the teredo is only eight weeks old.
These marine bores are
found in salt water all over the world, and they may change in numbers
and localities over a period of years.
For example along the North American coast in 1939, 1940 and
1941 these increased 100 times as compared to their density several
years previous. Five years later, by 1946, the limnoria were
decreasing rapidly, but the teredo, which nearly disappeared in 1943,
began to increase rapidly.
The most highly resistant wood to these two pests is Demerara
or Greenheart, so named
because of its greenish cast when split
open. It was first used
as fenders on a dock in England over 150 years ago. It was the wood of
the tree known as the Bebeeru, which only grows in British
In forms of beams or posts, Greenheart
has been found to be 25% stiffer than Black
Locust, one of the strongest and stiffest of North American
woods. Likewise, Greenheart
shows an elasticity in psi. of 3,500,000 as compared to Pine
and 1,600,000 and 1,500,000 for Oak.
It is reported to have 80%
the strength of steel.
The relative strength for construction purposes of Greenheart as compared to other woods is as follows:
is highly resistant to abrasion, which makes it particularly suitable
for use in bulkheads, as sheathing for protection against floating
ice, for flooring and decking, and for other
Among its mechanical properties, vouched for
by The U.S. Forest Service tests,
which are important when Greenheart
is used as flooring, are a high bending strength 2.25 times that of White
Oak and over twice that of Long
Leaf Pine which makes an under floor unnecessary.
Also Greenheart is
twice as hard and over twice as stiff as White
Oak, and has a greater ability to withstand shock.
Shrinkage is about 97% that of White
Oak. As Greenheart has
a low acid content, the corrosive effect on screws and, nails and
bolts is at a minimum compared with other woods.
felled and then prepared in the form of round piling, ax-hewed squares
and in various forms of sawn lumber and timber.
Greenheart piles can be
driven as they are received, and after driving are cut off to grade by
power saw. When steam
hammer is used they are not usually ringed.
However, if a drop hammer is used, it is recommended that they
be ringed before driving, particularly if the driving is in hardpan,
shale, and rock. Greenheart
has great strength, durability and load bearing capacity.
does not require any treatment such as is usually the case with softer
woods. Its power of
resistance to infection to its texture is due to the presence of an Amorphous Alkaloid, known as
Bebeerins, from core to bark and resinous Tyloses.
This characteristic, besides making it resistant to marine bores, also make it highly fire
Creosote treatments usually do not give
protection to the entire wood as the usual penetration is only one to
three inches, depending upon wood being treated, and abrasion or
puncturing invalidates the protection, exposing the entire structure
to decaying action or destruction by fire.
Examples of the resistance of Greenheart
to damage and decay may be cited:
The Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. in 1936 drove
Greenheart piles for their
docks at Newport News and Norfolk, VA and for the car ferry slip at
Norfolk. Ten years later,
in 1946 the piles were drawn out and re-driven, since they showed no
signs of damage by marine bores or
decay. A shipyard on Long
Island reports that Greenheart
piles which seems to be impervious to the teredo attack all other
piles lose their strength when treated for resistance to teredo and,
as such have little or no value in installation where wearing surfaces
and strength is required.
The fire resistance
qualities of Greenheart were
well demonstrated in a fire on a trestle of the Long Island R.R. at
Rockway several years ago, a fire which destroyed several hundred feet
of right of way. “Ties
treated with creosote burned fiercely and steel rails buckled from the
In another case, when fire
attacked the Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Dock at Greenville, NJ, the
middle and outboard sections collapsed from intense heat, but the Greenheart
sills and supporting posts on the approach trestle remained standing
while the adjoining supports which were not Greenheart
completely collapsed. Similarly
fire experiences elsewhere have
attested to the effective fire-resistant qualities of Greenheart.
bores are found along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts and in
fact in all salt waters. Obviously,
protection against the effects of their action is a matter of
particular importance in those ports where traffic is heavy and wharf
and dock facilities are in constant use
Probably, in terms of footage, the most extensive use of
Greenheart is in the form of planking for warehouses and dock
flooring, loading platforms, as fenders, ect.
is also used extensively as piling for piers and docks, trestles,
warehouse underpinning, coal pockets, bulkheads, dolphins, etc.. The need for high resistance to marine
bores and wood destroying fungi being effectively fulfilled
Savings in timber usage are illustrated in
the following data relating to the requirements for a typical open top
railroad dock with four tracks, where the first cost saving of amounts
With an annual cost savings of 60%.
A typical timber groin has shown saving of 37.5% in piles and
32.3% in timber. Typical
alternate uses of timber for piers and trestles were:
6 x 12
3 x 8
25 to 40% Less
11’ 3” centers
6 x 12
Recent installation costs show the following
comparative costs. For
a port tendered system, bids received for 1780 linear feet of abrasion
piles 55’ 6” long shown in Greenheart
as opposed to treated Pine, on 7’ 6” centers, showed no
difference in cost.
When Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad Co.
rebuilt its ferry rack in one of its slips in the Hudson River, 215 Greenheart
piles, from 55 ft. to 70 ft. long, were used to replace 325 lumber
piles. In spite of the
fact that the new rack was about 10 ft. longer than the one it
replaced, the cost, when using Greenheart
piling, was slightly less than the cost of the original piles in the
In a railroad transfer timber platform installation,
a three inch under floor and a two inch wearing surface was laid down. This was replaced by a two-inch Greenheart
with no under-flooring, which gave ample strength and wearing surface
without the sacrifice of any other essential qualities. In this connection, it is interesting to note that while Greenheart
at one time cost more than other hardwoods, under present conditions
the costs are about the same. This
is due to the fact that while Greenheart
has about doubled in price other hardwoods have increased three times
In general, it may be stated that Greenheart,
when used as piling exposed to marine bores, as flooring or decking,
in ferry racks, driveways, or fenders, will give longer
life, require much less frequent replacement, and will show high
resistance to abrasion. Greenheart
can be worked as easily as other hardwoods and costs little, if
anymore on a competitive installation basis, because fewer Greenheart
piles are required in a given structure.
Amortization charges are less, due to the longer useful life of
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Handbook No. 207
Fax (201) 721-1752