Physical and strength properties of Azadirachta indica, (a. Juss.) growing in Morogoro, Tanzania
Physical and strength properties of Azadirachta indica growing in Morogoro, Tanzania were determined and the results compared with already known properties of timber of the same family. The properties determined included basic density, bending strength, stiffness, work to maximum load, total work, compression and shear parallel to the grain and cleavage strength. A total of 160 test samples were used from three trees randomly selected from the study area. Preparations of test samples, actual testing and determination of different properties were carried out following standard methods. All strength property values were adjusted to 12% moisture content. Results showed A. indica to have a mean basic density of 646 kg m- 3, classified as high density timber, comparable to that of Khaya anthotheca and Trichilia emetica from the same family. The overall strength properties of A. indica are lower compared to those of K. anthotheca and T. emetica, however, superior in terms of cleavage strength. Based on the studied properties, the species can successfully substitute K. anthotheca and T. emetica in uses which require high bending, cleavage and shear parallel to the grain strengths. A. indica wood is therefore recommended for uses other than fuel wood and poles such as making furniture, tool handles, artificial limbs, joinery and plywood.
Keywords: Physical properties - strength properties - Azadirachta indica - Tanzania.
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation Vol. 77 2008: pp. 35-45
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