Guide to Wood: Types, Uses and Examples

Wood is a raw material of plant originobtained from the lower part of the bark of stemmed trees; It is found on trees with woody stems.

Of course there are also plants that do not produce wood, they are called herbaceous plants.

⭐️ To find out which is the best ax to cut firewood, you may want to read this article.

What is wood?

Wood is an orthotropic material, with different elasticity depending on the direction of deformation, found as the main content of a tree trunk.

Trees are characterized by having trunks that grow year after year, forming concentric rings corresponding to the different growth of biomass according to the seasons, and that are composed of cellulose fibers linked with lignin.

uses of wood

  1. Wood is used for the construction of necessary products in our homes, such as chairs, tables, beds, furniture in general, but it also has a field in technology, where it is used in many projects.
  2. It is a renewable, abundant, inexpensive organic resource that is very easy to work with.
  3. Wood is a good conductor of sound, it is a thermal and electrical insulator, it is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, ductile, malleable and tenacious.
  4. But, in addition, wood has other practical uses that make life more bearable for human beings.
  5. With it, pulp or paste is produced, which is the raw material for paper.
  6. Firewood is also used to feed the fire; It has been used in this sense since time immemorial.
  7. It is used in construction, in carpentry, and has been featured in means of transportation, such as ships and carriages, for a long time.
  8. Finally, it is good for pavements and floors, such as platforms, floating platforms and parquet; in Europe its use in this sense spread from the 17th century.

What types of wood are there?

According to the length of its fibers, woods are classified as long fiber wood and short fiber wood; They are also classified according to their fine grain or their coarse grain.

As for the type of wood, they are divided as follows:

soft woods

Softwoods, which are those that come from fast-growing trees, coniferous trees, with needle-shaped leaves.

Softwoods are very light in color and easy to work with, such aspoplar, willow, acacia, pine, etc.

hard woods

Hardwoods are slow-growing deciduous trees, which are usually oily and are used for furniture, sturdy construction, parquet flooring, tools, etc.

Examples of oak and walnut woods.

resinous woods

resinous woods,particularly resistant to moisture,used in furniture, in the elaboration of types of paper, such as cedar and cypress.

fine woods

Fine woods, used in artistic applications, such as sculpture and architecture, for furniture and musical instruments, and for ornaments; Ebony, maple and fir stand out in this aspect, among many others.

Finally, prefabricated wood, which is made from leftover wood.

Of this type of wood are plywood, táblex, agglomerates, fiber boards.

What are softwoods (examples of softwoods)?

As we have indicated before, softwoods are those thatThey do not present difficulties when working on them.

They are, therefore, the easiest woods to scratch, nail or screw.

There are many examples of this type of wood:

  • raft. Balsa wood is the lightest and softest of the timber species. It is mainly used in model airplanes and for models, it is very easy to work with and can be scratched with a fingernail.
  • Pacific Red Cedar. Its wood is pinkish brown, veined, light, soft and very resistant to weathering. It is mainly used in carpentry, instruments such as guitar cases, coatings and posts. Care must be taken when working it so that dents do not occur.
  • Poplar. Its wood is light in color, it is used mainly to obtain flat veneer and to manufacture plywood, also in boxes and containers. It is a wood with great lightness.
  • false cypress. Its wood has a good durability, it has been used in construction, for interior linings and in the construction of boats.
  • false chestnut. Its use is mainly ornamental as a tree. Its wood has specific uses as decorative, in electric guitars and small wooden objects.
  • Alpine spruce. The wood of the fir genus are soft, but this is the least soft. This wood is used in the paper industry and sometimes for structural purposes.
  • Common spruce. It is the softest, it is widely used in construction, for example, in the manufacture of laminated beams and flooring, among other products.
  • balsam poplar This species of the genus Populus has the softest wood. Its wood is light, fibrous, not very resistant and durable; it is used for paper pulp, matches and packing boxes.

What are hardwoods (examples of hardwoods)?

Hard woods are compact and resistant and come from slow-growing trees, their grain is usually different in each type; With it, due to its beauty, the most colorful furniture is built.

There is not so much availability, which, added to their resistance and the beauty of their grain, make them very expensive; It is not a wood for beginners in DIY.

As they are resistant to humidity, weather and temperature changes, hardwood furniture is especially suitable for bathrooms or kitchens.

Some examples of hardwood trees are as follows:

  • Ebony. Cabinetry owes its name to this black-colored wood, which comes from Africa where it has been considered sacred for centuries. It weighs a lot, has a soft texture and great density.
  • oak.Red and white, it is one of the most used woods in furniture making.
  • Walnut. Used with other veneer woods, it is brown in color, easy to work with, and expensive.
  • birch. Cheaper than other woods, we find it in yellow and white colors.
  • Mahogany. Reddish brown, it is expensive and difficult to obtain and due to its elegance it is one of the most valued.

What chemical elements does wood have?

The main components of wood are cellulose 40%, cellulose-like substances 24-32% and lignin 22-30%.

Cellulose is tasteless, odorless and colorless, resistant to water and weather.

The chemical composition of lignin is similar to cellulose.

Other, secondary, components of wood are resin, turpentine, fat, wax, dyes, and inorganic substances such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphoric acid, and iron oxide.

The chemical composition of wood is distributed as follows: elemental carbon 50%, oxygen 46%, hydrogen 6%, and small amounts of the ash components, 1%.

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