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MERBAU
Family: Leguminosae

Distribution:
Madagascar, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

General Description:
Clearly defined from the white-to-pale yellow heartwood, which matures into a medium-to-dark red-brown on exposure. The grain is interlocked and sometimes wavy, which produces a ribbon figure on quartered surfaces.

Color:
Yellowish to orange brown when first cut, but matures into brown or dark red-brown upon exposure.

Weight:
Average 800 kg/m 3 (50 lb/ft 3).

Specific Gravity:
.73.

Mechanical Properties:
•  Bending strength Medium
•  Crushing strength Medium
•  Resistance to shocl loads Medium
•  Stiffness Medium
•  Steam bending classification Moderate

Seasoning:
Dries well and without much degrade, and low shrinkage; if hurried there is a tendency for end splitting and surface checking to occur. There is small movement in service.

Working properties:
The wood has a moderate blunting effect on cutters, and the gum tends to collect on saws. The grain may tear out on quartered material when planning or moulding unless a reduced cutting angle 20 degrees is used. The wood tends to split in nailing and pre-boring is necessary. It holds screws well and can be glued, stained and polished satisfactorily but requires considerable filling. The yellow deposits are water soluble and the dye has a lasting effect on textiles.

Durability:
Durable and resistant to preservative treatment.

Uses:
•  General and heavy constructional work
•  Flooring
•  Paneling
•  Agricultural implements
•  Axe and tool handles
•  Furniture making

 

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