Other Common Names: Pengiran (Sabah), Palosapis (Philippines), Kaunghmu (Burma), Phdiek (Cambodia), Mersawa (Malaysia), Krabak (Thailand), Ven-ven (Indochina).
Distribution: From Burma, throughout the Malayan region, Philippines, and New Guinea.
The Tree: Commonly 100 to 150 ft in height sometimes reaching 200 ft; 3 to 5 ft in diameter; boles are well formed and with or without buttresses depending on species.
General Characteristics: Heartwood pale yellow or light yellow brown, sometimes with a pinkish tinge, darkening on exposure; sapwood lighter but not sharply demarcated. Texture moderately coarse; grain interlocked; not lustrous; without distinctive odor or taste when dry; silica ranging from 0.24 to 1.37% is reported.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.46 to 0.62; air-dry density 34 to 47 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in. standard, the third on the 2-cm standard.)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 Psi) (Psi)
Green (34) 7,850 1,735 3,880
12% 13,500 2,220 7,220
Green (64) 8,130 1,580 4,150
12% (52) 18,100 1,720 8,400
Janka side hardness 725 lb for green material and 875 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 236 in.-lb for green material and 308 in.-lb for dry (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Lumber dries very slowly, particularly the core of thick stock with little degrade. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.0%; tangential 9.0%; volumetric 14.6%. Movement in service is rated as medium.
Working Properties: The timber can be worked to a good finish but there is considerable dulling of cutters due to the silica content. Carbide-tipped tools are suggested.
Durability: Generally classified as moderately resistant to attack by decay fungi and nonresistant to termites. Sapwood is particularly vulnerable to powder-post beetle and stain.
Preservation: Heartwood is reported to be difficult to impregnate; both open tank and pressure-vacuum systems gave less than 3 pcf of preservative absorption.
Uses: Veneer and plywood, joinery, furniture components, flooring, light construction.
Additional Reading: (9), (34), (52), (64)
9. Burgess, P. F. 1966. Timbers of Sabah. Sabah For. Rec. No. 6.
34. Lauricio, F. M., and S. B. Bellosillo. 1966. The mechanical and related properties of Philippine woods. The Lumberman 12(5):66 +A-H.
52. Sallenave, P. 1971. Proprietes physiques et mecaniques des bois tropicaux. Deuxieme Supplement. Centre Tech. For. Trop., Nogent-sur-Marne.
64. Timber Research Laboratory, Sentul. 1940. Tests on small clear specimens in green condition made at the Timber Research Laboratory, Sentul (Test Sheet No. 29) Mersawa (Anisoptera marginata and Anisoptera laevis). Malayan Forester 9(3): 133-138.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.