Wood Species Knowledge

Each of the wood species in our portfolio has their own very unique characteristics. On this page we showcase the most important characteristics, advantages & disadvantagesas well as the areas of application of Oak, Douglas fir, Silver fir and Ash.

Measuring Resistance of Timber

The following two tables explain how some of the most popular wood species are classified according to their durability and toughness and which tools are used in order to find those characteristics. The durability of all wood species can usually be determined according to certain norms or standards, which are mainly used for the application of wood when used outdoors. The DIN EN 350 – 2 norm, for example, gives an overview of the natural resistance of all wood species to wood- destroying organisms such as fungi or insects. It is divided into the durability classes from 1 (very durable) to 5 (not durable).

Most of our native wood species are inferior to exotic wood species in terms of weather resistance, which is why these exotic ones are more often used outdoors, for example as terrace or facade woods. This does not mean that the European wood species are not suitable for outdoor use at all, but it is important to be aware of the fact that the lifespan of a domestic wood product under the influence of sun, wind, rain, snow, etc., without any protection, is more limited than that of exotic wood. The following table provides information on the extent to which the wood species most commonly used in Europe differ in their natural durability against fungi and pests in outdoor areas. When used inside, the toughness of wood is the most important aspect, which will be discussed in the later part of this article.

Wood type | Durability class (in heartwood area)
Ipé (Exot) | 1
Mahogany (Exot) | 2
Bangkirai (Exot) | 2
Bongossi (Exot) | 2
European Oak (native species) | 2
German Douglas fir, Larch | 3 - 4
Spruce, Silver fir | 4
Ash | 5
Type of wood at approx. 8 - 10 % wood moisture | Hardness in N/mm²
Ipé (Exot) | 72
Mahogany (Exot) | 38
Bangkirai (Exot) | 63
Bongossi (Exot) | 55
European Oak (native species) | 34
German Douglas fir, Larch | 18; 19
Spruce, Silver fir | 12
Ash | 38

Measuring Toughness of Wood

 

The toughness of the wood can be determined by the Brinell method (named after Johan August Brinell, 1849 – 1925). With the help of the ball pressure test, Brinell developed a test method that measures the hardness of materials. A sintered carbide ball is pressed onto the material for approx. 10 – 30 seconds and the imprint is then evaluated. The compressive strength is measured in N/mm². The figures in the table are approximates, as the degree of toughness may vary depending on the growing conditions.