Botanical Name: Intsia Bijuga
Also known as Kwila, Ipil, Vesi, Johnstone River Teak or Scrub Mahogany
Merbau is a popular hardwood derived largely from areas in South East Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific islands, and northern Queensland. With its high degree of natural durability and strength it is used externally in engineering, construction and marine applications.
The wood grain is variable but usually interlocked or wavy, which produces a ribbon figure on the radial surface. The timber has a coarse but even texture. It has a characteristic oily odour when cut.
Once cut, the heartwood will initially appear as yellowish-brown or orange-brown before deepening to a pale to dark reddish brown.
This contrasts with the merbau sapwood, which appears white, pale yellow or buff.
Merbau is a versatile wood product. It is utilised for larger-scale projects and general construction, along with common use for outdoor settings and barbeque trolleys, and for joinery, flooring and fitting purposes. As it turns well and responds to hand tools it can be applied to more specialised work, such as cabinet making, musical instruments, boat building, carving and tool handles.
|Strength Groups||S2 unseasoned; SD3 seasoned|
|Stress Grades||F11, F14, F17, F22, (unseasoned), F14, F17, F22, F27, (seasoned)|
|Joint Groups||J3 unseasoned; JD2 seasoned|
|Shrinkage to 12% MC||2.6% (tangential); 1.2% (radial)|
|Unit Shrinkage||0.30% (tangential); 0.19% (radial)|
|Durability Above-ground||Class 1 – life expectancy over 40 years|
|Durability In-ground||Not suitable for in-ground use|
|Lyctine Suceptibility||Untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctid borer attack|
|Preservation||Sapwood accepts preservative impregnation|
|Seasoning||Merbau seasons well|
|Hardness||Hard (rated 2 on a 6 class scale)|
|Machining||Working properties variable|
|Fixing||Merbau tends to split unless pre-bored|
|Gluing||Glues satisfactorily except with casein glues|
|Finishing||It takes paint, stain and polish well, but gum bleed-through or oily patches may affect the finish|
|Fire Rating||Bal 29 Rating in Bush Fire Prone Areas|