Satin wood grain varies from straight to interlocked, which produce a rope-striped figure on quartered surfaces. The texture is moderately fine but without the oiliness of teak. The wood is liable to blue mineral stains if it comes into contact with iron or iron compounds in damp conditions because of its tannin content.
Satin wood is reported to occur in the semi-deciduous forest in West and Central Africa, and is found mostly in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Congo.
Satin wood was originally used as a substitute for teak in the furniture industry for framing, and fittings, and the edge lippings and facings of panels. Today it is used extensively in its own right where a very attractive, strong, stable, and durable wood is required. It appears in high-class furniture and cabinet making, chairs, interior joinery, boat building, and marine piling. Selected logs are sliced for decorative veneers for furniture, flush doors, and wall paneling.
The heartwood is rated as very durable and could last for more than 25 years in contact with the ground. The timber is reported to be rarely attacked by marine borers and is highly resistant to attack by termites.