3 Awesome Facts About Balsa Wood You Did Not Know

01.10.13 04:21 PM By gdc-corelite

In the composites industry, we all know balsa wood (also known as "Ochroma pyramidale" for its scientific name), for its very strong but lightweight material properties used for a huge variety of applications. It is well regarded as an optimal core material for having excellent compression strength and shear strength properties.

However, what many do not know, is that balsa wood also enjoys some amazing natural properties that can increase most applications' performance:

1. Natural Insulation Material

Balsa wood, when used in many construction applications can help the interiors stay cool when it is hot outside and warm when it is cold outside. This is a great low-cost alternative material to use in sandwich structures used for home and building construction. At the end, this insulation property will reduce the construction cost and enable the building's users save money on heating/cooling costs, as there will be a reduction in the need to use the HVAC system that often.

2. Fire Retardant Material

Believe it or not, balsa wood, in contrast to many foam materials, is actually a fire retardant material. This means that a structure made with balsa wood core will require much more time and fire power to actually conduct the expansion of a fire, when compared to other core materials. Balsa wood is not affected by high temperatures, making it easy to work in different environments with no problem. This represents a great innovation for the concept of safer homes and buildings.

3. Noise Reduction Material

In many applications where it is crucial to reduce outside noise (like in a music or video recording room, or an office building next to a factory) or simply improve the acoustics of large auditoriums and theaters. Balsa wood serves as a great core material for panels used in the construction of such applications. Many homes and buildings that opt to reduce outside noise can also opt for such panels and improve comfort to its users.

As you can see, there are multiple applications that can significantly benefit from the use of organic materials, such as balsa wood core. These natural properties are not only limited to the applications mentioned here, but can also be applied to many more applications.