The African continent is an immense area, densely wooded in many regions, with wide variations in climate. This diversity of habitat results in an extremely diverse population of tree species. Africa also happens to be home to some of the hardest types of wood in the world
Hardwood from West Africa is extremely common in the uk market. Companies are turning more and more towards using them for projects that require a relatively high quality product for a more competitive price than their European and American counterparts. Most species boast stability, durability, and workability, from the redish tones of sapele, utile, and african mahgonany, to the rich browns of iroko.
Africa boasts a wealth of species, too many to list, of which only the best are imported for use in the united kingdom.
In Africa there are many rules but only one meets the complete criteria and therefore is the one normally used.
This Grade is FAS IMPERIAL.
This particular grading rule originated in England and has been adopted by the ATIBT and is found in all OAB countries (Organisation Africaine des Bois).
The FAS IMPERIAL system operates within certain requirements as follows: timber must be sawn at a larger dimension that specified in the contract in order to allow shrinkage that will naturally occur as the timber dries. Each pack must be representative of the species and quality offered. The limits are measured at the lower end specification of the pack, thus ensuring all other boards are of a higher quality and therefore meet at least the criteria of the grade. The timber is graded on the worst face of the board. The percentages are always calculated in volume, i.e. m³.
The NHLA grading rules will cover this in detail
23 African forest industry players have committed to sustainable management certification. 23 companies market FSC® certified wood products in Europe. These are products from well-managed tropical forests respecting social and environmental principles. Of course, there is still progress to be made, but the habits have changed. The states pride themselves on the latest certifications and the ministers in charge of forestry affairs constantly bring up the latest successes.