wood species

Sap Gum (American sweetgum)

Origin: United States.

Latin name.
Liquidambar Styraciflua.

Natural vegetation area.
Humid forests in the south-eastern part of the United States.

The tree has a medium or good size reaching the height of 30-32 metres, with diameter at breast height up to 1 metre. The trunk is straight and regular, with the foliage inserted on top. Frequent internal stresses.

The wide whitish sapwood is clearly different from the heartwood which features pinkish and reddish shades with scattered darker variegations. Presence of rubbery secretions (from which the denomination Gum originates)

Specific weight in the fresh condition.
In the fresh condition 800 kg/m³ on average; after normal seasoning 520 kg/m³.

Histological structure.
Medium texture; variable grain.

From medium to high.

Mechanical characteristics.
Axial compression strength 45 N/mm2 on average; bending strength 85 N/mm2; medium hardness; the impact behaviour is mediocre.

Modulus of elasticity.
11,200 N/mm².

Most frequent structural defects and alteration.
Fragile heartwood determined by strong internal stresses, irregularities in the grain, frequent spots due to chromogenic fungi.

Poor. The sapwood shall always undergo an appropriate impregnation treatment with antiseptics.


Texts taken from: “Manuale tecnico del legno”, FNALA CNA LEGNO LEGNO, by Prof. Ing. Guglielmo Giordano.


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