Grown mostly in the west coast of Central America, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Lignum vitae (Guaiacum species) are used to make tube bearings for steamship engines. Its great strength plus its ability to emit a special kind of lubricant make it fit for use under water.
MBB Marinewealth Industrial Corp., a Manila-based maker of steamship bearings, recently sent samples of the wood to FPRDI’s wood anatomists for certification.
“The company needed to assure a client that it had used genuine Lignum vitae for a particular set of tube bearings,” said Dr. Escobin. “FPRDI’s authentication of the samples is critical in maintaining the company’s credibility especially since it is the country’s sole manufacturer of Lignum vitae bearings.”
For decades now, FPRDI has been providing wood identification service to its various clients. This service is made possible by the Institute’s wood library, an internationally recognized facility which houses 16,348 specimens of Philippine and foreign wood samples.
The only one of its kind in the country, FPRDI’s wood identification service is especially useful to players in the construction, furniture and handicraft sectors who need assurance about the identity of their raw materials.
Being sure which type of wood one is working on allows a businessman to process the material using the most appropriate production techniques. Rizalina K. Araral, Public Affairs Unit CRPD-STII, DOST