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Ayous wood type: Abachi.

Please note:

This document describes in detail the advantages, disadvantages and features of Ayous. What applications it is suitable or unsuitable for and what you should pay attention to when installing the wood. It is mainly used as wooden facade cladding.

When it comes to Ayous, there is an important difference to keep in mind between modified and unmodified wood. The original Abachi is often used in saunas because the wood cannot splinter. All information below refers to thermally modified Ayous.


Color: Brown, golden brown to yellow. Durability: Durability class 1 to 2 (after thermal modification!) Appearance: Calm grain with hardly any knots or knots. Graying: Beautiful, even gray color. Applications: facade cladding, interior work. Treatment: Can be used untreated for facades. If you want to preserve the brown color, there are various ways to treat the wood. Processing: Very soft wood, therefore easy to process and cut with hand tools. Be careful when nailing as the nails can penetrate too deeply. Price: Approximately 65 euros per square meter. Lower prices are possible for larger quantities. Hardness: soft. Weight: Very light. Origin: West Africa.

Above: Ayou’s graying after 12 weeks.

Advantages of Ayous:

  • Durable: Thermally modified Ayous has a durability class of 1/2 and can therefore last 20-25 years on your building if left untreated. This corresponds to Western Red Cedar.
  • Lightweight: The thermal treatment has removed moisture from the wood, making it lightweight. This makes it easy to handle and mount at higher points on a facade.
  • Price: Significantly cheaper than, for example, red cedar or other types of hardwood.
  • Stable: The wood hardly works. In contrast to other types of wood, it is therefore possible to assemble the wood closer together.
  • Easy to treat: The wood has an open structure and absorbs oil well when treated with it.
  • Graying: Beautifully even and quick.
  • Structure: Almost free of knots, making it very smooth and even.
  • Easy to edit: Easy to edit manually or by machine. Sawing, drilling and screwing are easy.

Disadvantages of Ayous:

  • More sensitive to damage: The thermal modification has made the wood softer. In places where a door hits the wood or, for example, bicycles are placed against the wood, it is advisable to protect the facade. Caution is also required during transport and storage.
  • Strength: The wood is not strong and therefore not suitable for construction. It is almost never offered as lumber unless it is used for a pergola that does not require a load-bearing structure.
  • Availability: There are only a few importers of this wood, so not many places sell it.
  • Installation: Due to the softness of the wood, caution is required during installation. For example, with machine nailing, softness should be taken into account and tested on a test piece first.
  • Application: Only suitable for indoor and outdoor facades. If you also want a terrace made of the same wood, Ayous is therefore less suitable. You may want to choose Iroko for the patio instead as it has a similar look.

Detailed (Source):

Ayous Abachi (not thermally modified)

Other names
Ayous, Ayus (Cameroon, Guinea), Obeche, Arere (Nigeria), Sam, Samba (Ivory Coast), Wawa (Ghana), Mbado (Central African Republic).

Botanical name
Trilochiton scleroxylon K. Schum.


Distribution area
Tropical West Africa from Guinea to Cameroon. Main producing countries: Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Tree description
Large tree, 45-55 m high. Narrow buttress roots extend up to 6 m high on the trunk. The trunk is straight and cylindrical, up to 25 m long. Diameter above the buttress roots 0.9-1.5 m. In large trees the heart is often hollow, rotten or soft.

Sawn, veneered and as a wood material.

Wood description
The heartwood is whitish to creamy yellow when fresh, turning yellow to golden yellow under the influence of light. There is no clear difference between sapwood and heartwood. The color and quality of Abachi may vary slightly depending on its origin.

Type of wood

Straight to alternating grain direction. The changing fiber results in a vague to quite clear stripe pattern on the radial surface.

Moderately coarse to coarse.

(370-)390 (-450) kg/m³ at 12% moisture, fresh about 560 kg/m³.

Work behavior
Small amount.

Dries quickly and easily with little cracking and deformation. If air-drying, abachi should be placed on batten immediately after sawing to avoid discoloration due to blue mold.

Abachi is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. However, the tool should be very sharp to get a smooth surface.

Nails and screws: Good, but these fasteners hold up poorly.
Gluing: Good.
Bending: Moderate.

Surface finish
Good. The use of a pore filler is recommended.

Shelf life of Ayous
Mushrooms: Class 5. Lyctus: Class G. Termites: Class G. (Thermal Modified Ayous has durability class 1/2.)

Heartwood: Class 3. Sapwood: Class 1.

Often used for purposes where a light, easy-to-work type of wood is required and there are no requirements for durability or strength. For example in the furniture industry for interior work, wall and ceiling cladding, in model making for metal foundries, in organ and piano construction and in body construction (e.g. caravans). Also commonly used for plywood, furniture panels, frames, interior door parts, broom handles, sauna benches, etc.

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