Ekki mats – also commonly known as Azobe mats – belong to the hardwood family Lophira alata, found mainly in West Africa, and are the most durable of timber mats currently available.

The raw timber is relatively hard to source and expensive to buy, due to a combination of its massive popularity in recent years and the illegal logging that occurred prior to that.

However, the unmatched durability of Ekki mats means that stocks last for a very long time – over 50 years in some cases, regardless of the weather conditions they are used in – so there are a good number of Ekki mats for hire even when stocks for sale are low.

Ekki/Azobe timber mats are graded as Class 1 timber, and their popularity is not just because of their durability over a long period of time, but also their strength during immediate use.

This was demonstrated perfectly in recent months when Timbermat supplied 160 heavy duty ground protection mats measuring 150mm x 1m x 5m each to the University of Manchester during demolition work.

As part of major refurbishment works to the university campus, the bridge across Oxford Road was pulled down, dropping heavy rubble on to the road below.

Our heavy duty ground protection mats took the full force of the landing rubble, as well as the weight of the heavy machinery used to pull the bridge down, ensuring that Oxford Road was able to reopen to traffic once the job was done.

Further proof of the durability of Ekki mats can be found in Hastings, where Ekki timber was used in the reconstruction of the heavily damaged Hastings Pier.

In September 2016, the restored pier’s Ekki timber boards served as a stage for an open-air concert with a host of familiar faces from the world of music – a step towards raising funds to erect new buildings on the currently empty pier.

Piers face some of the toughest conditions of all, with no protection from the elements and continual bombardment by saltwater spray, but Ekki’s unique characteristics should ensure that Hastings residents and visitors have a place to go and look out to sea for generations to come.

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