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The classification of longleaf yellow pine as a "softwood" is somewhat misleading. One may assume that a "softwood" product would be unable to with stand wear and tear as well as a "hardwood". This is not necessarily the case.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service utilizes several measures to test a wood's capacity to withstand assaults on its structure. Below is a chart which lists Specific Gravity and Side Hardness values for various types of woods. These are two such measures. "Side Hardness" is a measure of how many pounds of load are required to imbed a .444 inch diameter ball halfway into the substance. "Specific Gravity" refers to the amount of wood substance per unit volume, essentially its "density". Specific Gravity varies among different types of wood due to basic cell structure.
As the chart below indicates, the longleaf pine has a "Side Hardness" greater than the other commonly found American pine varieties. Regarding "Specific Gravity", the longleaf is not only superior to its pine counterparts, but also holds a higher value than southern red oak, a commonly known hardwood.
These basic elements of the longleaf pine's structure make it a superior flooring option to other types of pine. An argument for the use of longleaf pine over southern red oak in this capacity is also illustrated, providing a less expensive, more stable, environment-friendly, denser flooring alternative.
|Species||Specific Gravity||Side Hardness|
|Courbaril (Br. Cherry)||.71||1970|
|Northern Red Oak||.56||1000|
|Southern Red Oak||.52||860|
|Eastern White Pine||.34||290|
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