Monday, July 29, 2013

Balsa wood plant.

It is a member of the mallow family but is now found in many other countries. It groups extremely rapid and the speed of growth accounts for the lightness of the wood. Balsa wood has a lower density than cork. The trees generally do not live beyond 30 to 40years.
The large flowers open in the late afternoon and remain open overnight. Each may contain a pool of nectar up to 1 inch deep. It was once thought that the main pollinators were bats. The name balsa comes from the Spanish word for boat.

Balsa lumber is very soft with a course open grain. The density of dry balsa wood ranges from 40 – 300 kg/m3 with a typical of about 160 kg/m3 . The light weight of wood cells that contain water. After the water is driven off in an extended drying process for two weeks, the large surface area of the resulting holes gives strength. Unlike dry rotted wood the surface is made of the usual strong cellulose mix.

As it is low density but high in strength balsa is a very popular material to use when making light, stiff structures in model bridge tests, model buildings and for the construction of model aircraft. Balsa is used to make wooden crack baits for fishing. Sticks of balsa can be used to make crude dip pens for calligraphy and can be useful when one needs a specific nib width or structure when one does not have such mestal nibs immediately available.

Balsa wood is often used as a core material in composites for example the blade of many wind turbines are made partially of balsa. In table tennis paddles, a balsa layer of typically sandwiched between two pieces of thin plywood. Balsa is also used in laminates with glass reinforced plastics for making high quality balsa surfboards and the desks and topsides of many types of boats especially pleasures craft under 30m in length.

 PKP. Safaris in Kenya
Natural Track Safaris.

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