Ipe wood is one of the best known species of industry professionals for its extraordinary characteristics. It has incredible hardness and resistance. Although it is known in some places as iron wood (iron wood). But these are not your unique qualities.

It is a tropical species that can be found in Central America and northern South America from Brazil. This is not a species at risk and production is constant. However, the demand for this excellent wood continues to grow.

Sometimes, when we talk about Ipé, we refer to several species of the genus Tabebuia. This is a generalization that is not quite everything. Although of course there are important similarities.

ipê off

Features ipe wood

Color: The heartwood may present shades ranging from yellowish brown to dark. The sapwood is yellow. It is difficult to differentiate in relation to Cumaru, another exotic high density wood. Although the IPE is a little bit darker.

Fiber: Straight, often interlaced or very interlaced.

Grain: Good to medium.

Density: This is a wood very dense, About 1050 kg / m³ at 12% humidity. It is so dense that it does not float in water.

Toughness (Monnin) 14.6 very hard wood.

Durability: High durability and resistance to insects and fungi, except for some marine borers. This is due in large part to its high density and also to its high concentration of tannic acid.

Dimensional stability: Stable wood. Over time and in contact with moisture it does not tend to curl.

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient 0.68% nervous wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 890 kg / cmtwo
  • Static flexural strength: 1,750 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 200,000 kg / cmtwo

impregnability: Heartwood slightly impregnable, sapwood moderately resistant.

workability. In general, IPE can be difficult to work with.

  • Drying is no problem, as long as it is done slowly. Otherwise, there is a small risk of deformation and crack formation.
  • Sawing can be complex due to its density. Causes of ipe wood accelerated wear of saws.
  • Nailing and screwing: You need to knock out.
  • Bonding can present problems due to tannins.
  • It accepts a good finish, although occasional gum deposits can affect polishing and finishing.
  • May cause allergic reactions and eye and skin irritation.

Solar radiation affects the color of the IPE. We recommend using teak oil to keep the wood hydrated and its original color.

Low reaction to fire. Contrary to popular belief, hardwoods such as Ipe exhibit excellent fire behavior. In fact, ipe wood is well above the standards set by the authorities for fire resistance.

Although it is not currently considered an endangered species, we cannot rule out that in some years it is on one of these listings. This is due to the great commercial interest, the scarcity of certified farms and the slow natural growth.

Uses of lapacho wood

use ipe
  • Fabrication of Solid wood floors. One of the main uses of ipê wood today is the manufacture of floors or platforms, both internal and external. On the one hand, external use is logical, given the strength and low maintenance requirements. But on the other hand, we must not forget that the appearance of the IPE is intelligent, so it should not be relegated to use outdoors. It is often found on porches, attics, terraces, pools, etc …
  • Fabrication of boats.
  • Tool handles.
  • Quality furniture for outdoor and indoor.
  • Interior and exterior joinery. Doors, stairs, wainscoting, friezes …
  • Plywood.
  • Waterworks.

Price of ipe wood

O The price of the IPE is moderate to high, considering that it is a tropical species. Its supply is limited and demand is growing. This growth in demand is due in large part to the knowledge and dissemination of the characteristics of Lapacho wood, which is considered by many to be the ideal wood for use outdoors.

When the price is too high or there is a shortage of stock, it is often replaced by teak or iroko.