Red Alder Wood: Properties and Uses

red alder wood

Red alder wood is one of the more popular hardwood alternatives in the woodworking industry. The botanical name of red alder is Alnus Rubra bong. It belongs to the family “Belulaciea.” Do you know where red alder trees grow? Red alder grows in the Pacific coastal area from California to Alaska. Both Oregon and Washington State have an abundance of this wood. It is the largest species of alder in North America. The height of red alder ranges from 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft).

Physical Properties of Red Alder Wood:

Wood color: Sapwood and heartwood can not be easily distinguished by the eye. The color of the wood is almost white to pale reddish-brown, and the dried heartwood becomes light reddish-brown.

Structure of wood: Annual growth rings appear lightly on the tangled slit surface. Scattered large scratches are seen on the barred surface; sometimes, they are missing. The wood grain is fairly straight, and the texture is moderately fine.

Shrinkage: Wood is relatively less compressible. Reaching the moisture-free state from the green condition is 4.4% radius, 7.3% tangential, and 12.6% total volume.

Workability: Easy to work.

Wood weight, density, and relative importance: Wood is moderately lightweight. The relative importance of weight base in volume and moisture content in green condition 0.36 (density 369 kg / m3), relative importance in weight basis in 12% moisture content 0.41 (density 420) Kg / cubic meter).

Moisture in green condition: Data is not available in heartwood, 98% in the sapwood.

Natural durability of wood: Heartwood and sapwood are classified as resistant.

Seasoning properties: Drying in a kiln is moderately easy.

Treatability: Heartwood is possible to preserve under pressure method, sapwood is not possible to preserve.

Mechanical Properties of Red Alder Wood:

Most of the energy properties of this wood are medium, but the injury tolerance is low.

Modulus of rupture: 44.63 N/square mm. in green condition, 8.59 N / s in 12% humid condition.

Modulus of elasticity: 0.0060 million Newtons / sq. Mm in green condition, 0.0095 million Newtons / sq. Mm in 12% humid condition. 

Work to maximum load: 0.221 kg / cubic cm in green condition, 0.232 kg / cubic cm in 12% humid condition.

Impact bending: 55.6 cm in green condition, 50.60 cm in 12% humid condition.

Compression parallel to grain- maximum crushing strength: 20.41 Newtons / square mm in green condition, 40.14 Newtons / square mm in 12% humid condition.

Compression perpendicular to grain-fiber stress at the proportional limit: 1.62 Newton / square mm in green condition, 3.03 Newton / square mm in 12% humid condition.

Shear parallel to grain-maximum shearing strength: 5.31 newtons / square mm in green condition, 8.5 Newton / sq mm at 12% humid condition.

Tension perpendicular to grain-maximum tensile strength: 2.69 Newtons / sqm in green condition, 2.90 Newtons / sq mm in 12% humid condition.

Side hardness-load perpendicular grain: 199.56 kg in green condition, 26.72 kg in 12% humid condition.

Uses of red alder wood: 

The main use of red alder wood is to make furniture and cabinets because of its workability and ease of finishing. But this wood is also used to make the sash, doors, panels, and factories. It is not considered to be a durable option for outdoor applications.

About Fast Carpenter Team

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