Mechanical Properties of Ficus vallis-choudae (Delile), A Lesser Utilized Species in Nigeria

Lawrence Olanipekun Aguda, Babatunde Ajayi, Sylvester Areghan, Yetunde Olayiwola, Aina Kehinde, Ademola Idowu, Yetunde Aguda

Abstract


Declining availability of the prime economic species in the Nigerian timber market has led to the introduction of Lesser-Used Species (LUS) as alternatives. Their acceptability demands information on the technical properties of their wood. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanical properties of Ficus vallis-choudae to determine its potential for timber. Three mature Ficus vallis-choudae trees were selected and harvested from a free forest area in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Samples were collected from the base (10%), middle (50%), and top (90%) along the sampling heights of each tree, which was further partitioned into innerwood, centrewood, and outerwood across the sampling radial position. Investigations were carried out to determine the age, density, moisture content, impact strength, modulus of elasticity, modulus of rupture, compressive strength parallel-to-grain, and shear strength parallel-to-grain. The mean impact bending strength, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, maximum shear strength parallel-to-grain, and maximum compression strength parallel-to-grain for Ficus vallis-choudae at 12% moisture content were 20.4 N/mm2, 85.8 N/mm2, 709 N/mm2, 10.7 N/mm2, and 33.6 N/mm2, respectively. The study found the species to be dense with high strength properties in comparison with well-known timbers used for constructional purposes.

Keywords


Deforestation; Lesser used species; Mechanical properties; Ficus vallis-choudae; Well-known timbers

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