Meranti Timber Merchants
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What is Dark Red Meranti?
Malaysian dark red Meranti timber varies in colour from pale pink / white to dark red / purple. The density can also vary substantially as there are numerous sub-species. It is generally easy to machine, and imported grade is mainly selects & better. Occasionally Meranti timber is affected by ambrosia beetle (visible as pinhole) when logs have been lying in tropical forests, but are killed off in kilning process. Often used as a false 'mahogany' for products such as windows, conservatories and doors. Thicknesses: 1", 1¼", 1½", 2", 2½", 3" & 4". Widths 4" - 12", mainly 6" - 8". Lengths 7' - 18’, average about 12'.
Latin name Shorea spp, Shorea pauciflora, Shorea acuminata, Shorea platycarpa, Shorea platyclados, Shorea curtisii
Also known as dark red meranti, red lauan, dark red seraya, oba suluk
Introduction Shorea pauciflora King. S. curtisii Dyer ex King (in part), S. acuminata (in part), S. platycarpa (in part), S. platyclados are the principal species producing dark red meranti from Malaysia.
The alternative Malaysian name for the wood of S. pauciflora is nemesu. Shorea pauciflora King. is the principal species producing dark red seraya from Sabah, locally known also as oba suluk.
Meranti 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
Dark Red Meranti Properties
Meranti The Tree The various species of Shorea grow to a height of 45m or so and a diameter of 1.2m or a little more, with long, clean, cylindrical boles above small buttresses.
Timber Sapwood lighter in colour and distinct from the heartwood which is red-brown darkening to a dark red; planed surfaces fairly lustrous, stripe figure on radial surfaces. Grey-coloured narrow streaks are often present on all longitudinal surfaces, caused by concentric layers of resin canals. The texture is rather coarse but even, and the grain is interlocked and wavy. The wood weighs on average, 710 kg/m³ when dried
Meranti Drying The various types of meranti/seraya are reported to dry rapidly and well, with little degrade. Some slight distortion and surface checking may occur in the denser types. 'Malayan Forest Service Trade Leaflet No 8' gives the following information regarding the air drying times for red meranti dried under cover in Malaysia. From about 60 per cent moisture content to 18 per cent moisture content:-
25mm boards 2 to 3 months
38mm boards 3 to 4 months
50mm boards approximately 5 months.
Strength There is a wide variation in the strength properties of the various merantis and red seraya due to the differences in density and the number of species involved. Large, over-mature logs are frequently spongy in the heart, the wood in these areas being weak and brittle. Despite the fact that the best type of light red meranti is almost equal in strength to the weakest type of dark red meranti, there is nevertheless on average, a distinct difference in mechanical properties.
The average figure for strength and stiffness in bending and compression for dark red meranti is about 20 per cent higher than that for light red meranti; in shear there is about 10 per cent difference, and in hardness, over 30 per cent. Light red meranti is almost equal to oak in strength properties, but oak is much harder, while Scots pine has only about 75 per cent of the general strength of light red meranti. White and yellow meranti are reported to have similar, properties to those of American mahogany, but with lower resistance to splitting in the tangential plane in the case of white meranti.
Working Qualities Medium - The wood of the various species work well and in general are capable of a good smooth surface, but a reduction of cutting angle to 20° is beneficial where a tendency for the grain to tear becomes apparent. The dulling effect on saws and cutters varies somewhat with the species, but is usually quite small, except in the case of white meranti which generally contains a fairly high amount of silica in the ray cells. Moderately slow drying with a tendency to warp, thick material may check and end split. The various species can be glued, nailed and screwed satisfactorily, and can be stained and polished quite well after suitable filling.
Durability Slightly durable (Can vary in durability). Heartwood is moderately durable. In general, Meranti is naturally resistant to decay and insects. Sapwood liable to attack by powder-post beetle. Not resistant to marine borers. Generally rated as resistant to preservative treatments, sapwood reported to be moderately resistant to permeable, varying with species.
Treatability Extremely difficult. Moderately easy (Sapwood)
Meranti Moisture Movement Small
Density (mean, Kg/m³) 710 (Density can vary by 20% or more)
Physical Properties Average overall strength and hardness. Stable.
Meranti Texture Medium
Availability Readily available
Working with Meranti
Meranti Use(s) Cladding, Joinery - Exterior, Joinery - Interior, Flooring. Furniture and Cabinetwork. General Construction. Boatbuilding.
Meranti Colour(s) Reddish brown (Medium to dark in shade), Red
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