# Balsa

Balsa is a wood-based material. It has the lowest density among wood-based materials. In addition, it has the highest dielectric strength and a moderately low ductility. The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare balsa to other wood-based materials (top) and the entire database (bottom).

## Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

7.0 *MPa* 1.0 *x 10 ^{3} psi*

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

3.0 *GPa* 0.44 *x 10 ^{6} psi*

Elongation at Break

1.2 *%*

Poisson's Ratio

0.38

Shear Modulus

0.23 *GPa* 0.033 *x 10 ^{6} psi*

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

14 *MPa* 2.0 *x 10 ^{3} psi*

## Thermal Properties

Specific Heat Capacity

1700 *J/kg-K* 0.41 *BTU/lb-°F*

Thermal Conductivity

0.1 *W/m-K* 0.058 *BTU/h-ft-°F*

Thermal Expansion

6.5 *µm/m-K*

## Other Material Properties

Density

0.13 *g/cm ^{3}* 8.1

*lb/ft*

^{3}Dielectric Strength (Breakdown Potential)

4.9 *kV/mm* 0.19 *V/mil*

## Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

13 *points*

Strength to Weight: Axial

30 *points*

Strength to Weight: Bending

99 *points*

Thermal Diffusivity

0.45 *m ^{2}/s*

Thermal Shock Resistance

51 *points*

## Followup Questions

## Further Reading

Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material, Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, 1999