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Detailed specifications of the hardwood species used by BALI PREFABWORLD

 

 

BANGKIRAI (Shorea Laevis)

 

GENERAL
Bangkirai (or sometimes named Balau) is a highly rated timber that is frequently used for trusses and structural wood members. Very hard and dense. Difficult to work. Needs special hard steel cutting knifes in the wood working machines.
Nyatoh has a very good reputation as a fine textured and easy to work timber. It is much apprceiated for the manufacturimng of flooring and sidings, paneling, high-class cabinet and parquet flooring. For the above uses the lighter species are preferred, as the heavier species are not so attractive as well as being more difficult to work. 

DURABILITY
Bangkirai has a high strength and durability, is hard and heavy with high stiffness and shock resistance. Excellent decay resistance and dimensional stability. Bangkirai is listed in durability class 2, which means that the above-ground life expectancy of untreated (no coating applied) Bangkirai is at least 20 years. When Bangkirai is maintained on a 2 to 3-year recurrent basis the life time will increase to at least 40 years or more. Bangkirai has a high strength, is hard and heavy with high stiffness and shock resistance. Excellent decay resistance and dimensional stability. However, Bangkirai will show tiny cracks due to its natural tendency to shrink a bit over time (even after kiln drying). It is therefore less suitable for the use in doors and windows, in particular in an arid environment. Nonetheless, if such tiny cracks are accepted (giving it an antique look), Bangkirai is an extremely durable hardwood and will last a life time. Bangkirai comes in two classes. A and B, whereas A is heartwood and B is sapwood. Bangkirai can easily withstand constant salt spray and is therefore ideal to be used close to open sea. 
 

TERMITE RESISTANCE
It is fiction to believe that Bangkirai is 100% termite resistant as many others tend to believe. While the heartwood is not susceptible to termite attacks, sapwood positively is. J. Kenneth Grave and Carrei H.M. Tome from the University of Hawaii evaluated the resistance of Indonesian Bangkirai to the attack of the daagerous Formosa termite. Their investigation revealed that  "as with all durable tree species only the heartwood and not the sapwood of these species is reputed to be durable". See page 504 line 15 of their report which can be downloaded via https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/gracek/pdfs/212.pdf

The remedy: build with sole Bangkirai heartwood to protect your unit from termite attacks......Well, that is in fact a fairy tale. None of the Indonesian timber suppliers is willing to supply Bangkirai heartwood only (normally reddish in color), unless a very high price will be paid for the timber. They will mix the batch with sap wood (which is pale yellow), or supply sap wood only. Conclusion: You shall not automatically believe that a house built from Bangkirai is not susceptible to termite attacks, at least we are not promoting this. However, our companycould sign a deal with one to the Balinese suppliers that we are allowed to select Bangkirai heartwood from its stock without extra costs. You may read this to learn more <termite resistance>

APPEARANCE
The wood texture of Bangkirai ranges from fine to rather coarse. The grain is straight or interlocked. The wood surface is smooth or alternately smooth and rough owing to the interlocked grain. Wood surface is glossy. Reddish heartwood and yellowish pale to light brown sapwood. Bangkirai when kiln dried may show some minor cracks after the process. These cracks will open and close as the surrounding humidity changes. When untreated Bangkirai is left in the open it will turn black.


USE
Heavy construction, sidings, flooring 


  

MERBAU (Intsia Bijugs)

 

GENERAL
Merbau is widely used due to its beautiful look and excellent physical characteristics, such as hardness, durability and moisture resistance. It is a very hard material and resists deformation. It is often used for flooring. It can easily withstand any weather changes and is therefore very useful for exterior doors, veranda flooring and sidings. Merbau used for exteriors doors is normally from Class II to III.
ALERT: Merbau will stain black when in contact with carbon steels. Merbau is not recommended for the use in arid countries, since significant bleeding may occur, peeling off the coating. Teak or Nyatoh is the more suitable material for these countries.


DURABILITY
Merbau has a high degree of natural durability, is very hard and performs well in heavy traffic areas. Merbau is listed in durability class 3, which means that the above-ground life expectancy of untreated (no coating applied) Merbau is at least 10 years. When Merbau is maintained on a 2 to 3-year recurrent basis the life time will increase to at least 20 years or more. The heartwood (not the sapwood !!!) of Merbau has good resistance to termites


TERMITE RESISTANCE
Merbau is only susceptible for termite (white ants) attacks when is is classified in Class 1 (heartwood). Merbau endurance against fungus is Class 1. A technical data sheet from the Australian timber base sheds some light on the termite resistance of Merbau and can be found at https://www.timber.net.au/?option=com_species&name=Merbau&Itemid=441  This article clearly indicates that only Merbau heartwood is termite resistant.


APPEARANCE

The wood texture is evenly coarse. The grain is straight or occasionally slightly interlocked. The wood surface is smooth and glossy. The heartwood is brown-gray, brown-yellow, brown-red or black.
The attractive yellow-orange brown hue of freshly cut heartwood deepens or reddens with ageing. This contrasts markedly with the merbau sapwood, which is white, pale yellow or buff coloured. If left untreated, the sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. Merbau seasons well with kiln or air-drying, exhibiting only a low degrade and very little shrinkage or movement. The grain of merbau can vary but it is usually interlocked or wavy, with a coarse but even texture, often prized for its attractiveness on backsawn material.


USE
Exterior and interior doors, parquet, sidings, furniture, paneling.


  

CAMPHOR (Dryobalanops spp.)

 

GENERAL
Heartwood light yellowish-, olive-, reddish-, brownish gray to red, reddish brown, orange brown, or light brown, varying with species; not sharply demarcated from sapwood in some species. Sometimes figured with dark streaks; grain straight, interlocked, or wavy; texture medium coarse to fine; more less lustrous; often fragrant with odors of camphor without distinctive taste.

An imported timber with a reputation for durability, in Indonesia kapur is a large hardwood used for general construction and as an internal and external finishing material. When freshly cut, the timber releases a camphor-like odour but is not moth repellent or resistant to termites.

Kapur wood exhibits a class 2 durability, making it ideal for use in general construction. It makes an attractive material for flooring, sidings, and staircases. The timber is also highly prized for external joinery, in particular for door and window sills, as it is resistant to decay when fully exposed to the weather.

This timber is not recommended for in-ground use (durability in ground class 3). Often preferred for external decking, it can also be used to create sturdy outdoor furniture. Kapur (camphor) wood requires no finishing and will not rot when left outdoors where rain and sun will damage other lesser quality woods. Left untreated, kapur will weather to a soft warm shade of gray similar to the weathering of teak. It can also been used decoratively to create internal fittings, plywood, joinery and lining, as it displays a striking figure.


DURABILITY

Rated as durable, with mixed resistance to various insect attacks. Camphor wood exhibits a class 2 durability, making it ideal for use in general construction. It makes an attractive material for flooring, sidings and staircases. The timber is also highly prized for external joinery, in particular for door and window sills, as it is resistant to decay when fully exposed to the weather.
Camphor is not recommended for in-ground use (durability in ground class 3). Camphor wood requires no finishing and will not rot when left outdoors where rain and sun will damage other lesser . 

TERMITE RESISTANCE
Not termite resistant. 


APPEARANCE

Color can be highly variable depending on species and growing conditions; generally a light brown, frequently with shades of gray, red, or olive green. Occasionally contains darker streaks. Paler sapwood isn’t always clearly differentiated from the heartwood. Burls are also commonly seen, and are considered highly decorative. The grain can be straight, interlocked, and/or wavy. Uniform medium texture with a high natural luster and a slightly greasy feel. Left untreated, Camphor will weather to a soft warm shade of gray similar to the weathering of teak. 

USE
Exterior and interior sidindg, flooring, decking, paneling, doors, windows.


  

KEMPAS (Koompassia Malaccsensis)

 

GENERAL
Kempas heartwood is a fairly consistent color which ranges from orange-red to reddish-brown with subtly contrasting yellow to pale white tones. The heartwood will darken with time. 


DURABILITY
Kempas is classified as moderately durable. The average service life for 161 untreated specimens was 2.5 years. The sapwood is very susceptible to both powder-post beetles and fungi attacks. Kempas treated with the appropriate wood preservatives is very durable even under exposed conditions. Kempas is not recommended for in-grouind use. Heartwood is rated as moderately durable to durable regarding decay resistance. 
 

TERMITE RESISTANCE
Not termite resistant. 


APPEARANCE
In general Kempas appears to be an orangish-brown with an overall mahogany like appearance. Heartwood is pinkish red when freshly cut and darkens on exposure to an orange-red with numerous yellow-brown streaks due to the soft tissue associated with the pores. Streaks of the brittle stone-like tissue are fairly common and are a source of mechanical weakness. Sapwood is white or pale yellow. Coarse-textured with a bright, natural luster and medium interlocked grain.

USE
Construction, exterior and interior sidings, flooring, doors, windows.


  

KERUING (Dipterocarpus spp.)

 

GENERAL
Keruing timber is low maintenance, hardwearing and ideal for outdoor furniture use. The wood is strong and classified as durable, making it useful for construction purposes. Other common uses include internal flooring, protected framing and boards, internal joinery and mouldings, lining, paneling and framework. Preservative-treated material is used for poles, piles, sleepers and cross-arms.  It is often used as a cheaper alternative to oak for heavy construction, decking, vehicle building and sleepers, and it is also in plywood.

Where other timbers may require curing, keruing is completely cured and ready for immediate use with no risk of leaching, bleeding or leach sap. It contains oleo-resins and will exude it onto surfaces during drying or when exposed to heat or sunshine when in use; gums may also cause problems in machining.


DURABILITY
Keruing timber is low maintenance, hardwearing and ideal for outdoor use. The wood is strong and classified as durable Class 3, making it useful for construction purposes with a life expectancy of some 7 years above ground (untreated). When Keruing is miantained on a 2-3 yeras recurrent basis, its life time will increase to at least 10 - 15 years  Other common uses include internal flooring, protected framing and boards, internal paneling and framework. It is often used as a cheaper alternative to oak for heavy construction. 
 

TERMITE RESISTANCE
Not termite resistant. 


APPEARANCE
Across the entire species, a wide variety of heartwood hues are available, including deep-pink, orange-pink and purple-red. The most common heartwood is red-brown. Sapwood is usually lighter, sometimes with yellow or grey tinges. The wood darkens with age and features a generally straight, or shallowly interlocked grain, sometimes with a stripe figure on the radial surface. Texture varies between species from fine to coarse but is always uniform.

USE
Construction, flooring, framing, paneling


  

NYATOH (Sapotaceae family)

 

GENERAL
Nyatoh, also often called "Chinese teak" due to its similarities to teak but is not quite as durable in the elements compared to genuine teak. Why it is called "Chinese teak remains a mystery.    


DURABILITY
Nyatoh shows variable natural durability in accordance to the species. The majority of the species would fall into the moderately durable class but there are some species that are non-durable as well as those which are durable. The non-durable timber (mostly sapwood) is subject to termite attacks and is also susceptible to fungal attacks and therefore not suitable for the use of constructions in direct ground contact. Nyatoh, however, is rarely susceptible to powder-post beetle attacks. When treated with appropriate preservatives, like polyurethane coating, Nyatoh shows great durability and has a service life time of some 25 years in ground contact. Unlike Merbau, Bangkirai and Mahogany, Nyatoh has significant flexibility to absorb the very high temperature an low humidity in arid countries. When properly kiln dried, cracks, deformations and shrinkage rarely occur in this harsh environment.
 

TERMITE RESISTANCEi
Not termite resistant. 


APPEARANCE
The texture is moderately fine to slightly coarse, with straight to shallowly interlocked and sometimes wavy grain.

USE
Light structures, sidings, flooring, panelling, doors, windows, cabinets

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Review from: Sandrine Chambron, Guadeloupe
Project: Resort in Guadeloupee 
Date: 19-05-2016
Rating: 5 out of 5.

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