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Balau Timber Merchants

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What is Yellow Balau?

Yellow Balau timber is stocked as an exterior 'decking' profile. This is a Malaysian hardwood with natural durability and will gradually weather to a silver-grey colour. Size is 28mm x 145mm profiled with small 'ripple' grooves on one face and deeper grooves on the reverse, allowing a choice of which side faces up.

Latin name Shorea spp, Shorea atrinervosa, Shorea elliptica, Shorea foxworthyi, Shorea glauca, Shorea laevis, Shorea maxwelliana, Shorea submontana, Shorea guiso, Shorea kunstleri, Shorea collina, Shorea ochrophloia

Also known as Yellow balau, red balau

Introduction The hard, heavy timber species of shorea occurring in South East Asia are grouped under common trade names peculiar to the area. Thus selangan batu is the name used in Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak, while balau is used to describe the heavy Malaysian species.

Yellow Balau Environmental Many species of shorea appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are classified as: CR – Critically Endangered: at very high risk of extinction in the wild. EN – Endangered: at high risk of extinction in the wild. VU – Vulnerable: at risk of extinction

Distribution Selangan batu is produced by several species, principally S. laevis and S seminis.
Red selangan batu is principally S. guiso.
Balau is generally separated into two types in Malaysia, ie, balau and red balau.
Balau is produced mainly from shorea atrinervosa, S. elliptica, S. foxworthyi, S. glauca, S. laevis, S. maxwelliana and S. submontana.
Red balau is produced mainly from S. guiso, S. kunstleri. S. collina, and S. ochrophloia.

The Timber Selangan batu is a yellowish-brown timber with interlocked grain, and a coarse, but even texture. According to species, durable to very durable.
Balau is a yellowish-brown, brown, or reddish-brown timber vvith interlocked grain, and a moderately fine and even texture. It is classified in Malaysia as being very durable.
Red balau is a purplish-red or dark red-brown timber, with an interlocked grain, and a coarse but even texture. It is classified in Malaysia as being less durable than balau, ie moderately durable.
Red selangan batu (Sabah), and alan, or meraka alan (Saravvak and Brunei) are approximately equal in colour and characteristics to red balau.


Yellow Balau Properties

Drying Difficult to dry, slow drying with a tendency to end split, warping is variable.

Stength All the species mentioned have hard, heavy and strong timbers with strength properties similar to those of greenheart.

Yellow Balau Durability Durable. Little tendancy to warp or twist. 20 - 30 years life span

Treatability Extremely difficult. Moderately easy (Sapwood)

Moisture Movement Medium

Density (mean, Kg/m³) 980 (Density can vary by 20% or more)

Yellow Balau Texture Medium

Availability Available at specialist timber merchant

Physical Properties Excellent overall strength and weather resistance

Sizes Obtainable in large sizes


Working with Yellow Balau

Yellow Balau Use(s) Heavy structural use, Marine or freshwater construction, Decking. Flooring.

Colour(s) Reddish brown, Yellow brown

Timbersource are a leading online hardwood timber merchant in the UK, supplying Balau timber to the joinery, carpentry, construction and building trade at competitive prices.

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Timbersource Ltd.

Quarry Way, Waterlip,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset,
United Kingdom
BA4 4RN