Purple Heart Hardwood
Purpleheart is an exotic wood with mechanical properties of the wood are reported to lie somewhere between those of Greenheart and Oak. It is reported to have exceptional tolerance for shock loading. Purpleheart is reported to be highly desired by hobbyists and craftsmen who use the hard heavy wood in small projects.
Common Name(s): Purpleheart, Amaranth
Scientific Name: Peltogyne spp.
Distribution: Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil)
Tree Size: 100-170 ft (30-50 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 56 lbs/ft3 (905 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .76, .90
Janka Hardness: 2,520 lbf (11,190 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 22,000 lbf/in2 (151.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,937,000 lbf/in2 (20.26 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 12,140 lbf/in2 (83.7 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 3.8%, Tangential: 6.4%, Volumetric: 10.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Color/Appearance: When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. This color-shift can be slowed and minimized by using a UV inhibiting finish on the wood. For more information, see the article Preventing Color Changes in Exotic Woods.
Grain/Texture: The grain is usually straight, but can also be wavy or irregular. Has a medium texture with good natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to large pores, few; solitary and radial multiples; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings may be either distinct or indistinct depending on species and growing conditions; rays barely visible without lens; parenchyma winged, lozenge, confluent, unilateral, and occasionally marginal.
Rot Resistance: Purpleheart is rated as being very durable, and resists both decay and most insect attacks, though it has been reported to be susceptible to attack from marine borers.