Mechanical and physical properties of plantation grown timber in Zambia
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Zambia is endowed with thousands of square kilometers of land on which both plantation grown and indigenous species of timber flourish. The Zambian standard on structural use of locally grown timber. ZS 032,gives physical and mechanical properties for several indigenous species but only two plantation grown species, namely Eucalyptus Grandis (blue gum) and Pinus Kesiya. In view of the economic potential of plantation grown timbers. such as controlled growth and development of plantations and processing plants. country-wide, it is necessary to enhance the utilization of these species for structural, carpentry and other purposes. Greater structural usage. however, can only be reali=ed after determination and dissemination of the physical and mechanical properties. This paper presents test results for physical and mechanical properties of four plantation grown timbers, Eucalyptus Grandis, Eucalyptus Cloesina, Pinus Kesiya, and Pinus Oorcapa, grown by Copper belt Forestry Company The tests were carried out at the Civil and Environmental Engineering laboratories of the University of Zambia. The physical and mechanical properties determined for Eucalyptus Grandis and Pinus Kesiya, exceed those specified in ZS 032 (1986, when the totalfa ctors of safety are applied. The physical and mechanical properties determined in this study for Eucalyptus Cloesina and Pinus Oorcapa are reasonable estimates. in the absence of code values. Keywords: softwood, hardwood, clear specimens, plantation grown, indigenous species, radial, tangential, perpendicular and parallel to grain.
University of Zambia