Durability classes of timber mats – how do tropical hardwoods compare?

The durability of tropical hardwood timber mats is one of the main selling points, with decades of use under normal conditions – but what are the durability classes of timber mats like Ekki and Dabema?

First of all, the obvious disclaimer – wood is a natural product and when used under different conditions, especially challenging conditions like heavy construction sites, its durability will vary.

But a dense tropical hardwood timber mat will generally outlast a softer wood due to the more closely knit fibres within the timber, and durability classes of timber mats are there as a guide to this.

Timbermat Class Scale

Class 1 timber mats are the most durable of all. When used in contact with the ground, as our timber mats usually are, these should last for a minimum of 25 years.

With intermittent use and careful storage, this lifespan can be extended considerably – and the toughest tropical timber mats like Ekki could easily stay in usable condition for 50 years or more.


Class 2 timber mats are rated for 15-25 years, while…


Class 3 timber mats last for an expected 10-15 years. Again, this all depends on usage and ground conditions, including exposure to tidal and saltwater locations.


Class 4 timber mats have an expected life span of 5-10 years.


Class 5 timber mats are the least durable at between zero and 5 years.


Types of Hardwood

So how do tropical hardwood timber mats compare with European hardwood timber mat species?


Ekki is generally regarded as one of the world’s most durable hardwood species, if not the most durable of them all. It’s a Class 1 hardwood with an expected life of up to 50 years or more.


Dabema is a close runner-up, and is rated at between Class 1 and Class 2 – a durable option for all but the heaviest duty applications.


In European hardwoods, Oak is our most durable option. Ranking as a Class 2 timber, oak wood mats give you up to about 25 years of use in normal conditions.


Beech by contrast is a Class 5 timber, which means up to five years of usage, yet during that time beech timber mats offer some high strength characteristics, including resistance to crushing and abrasion.


If you’re not sure which durability class to choose, or how your usual operating conditions might affect the lifespan of your timber mats, give us a call on 08000 12 1231
and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.

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