The common trade name applied to the heavier forms of Shorea albida (Dipterocarpaceae). Vernacular names applied include empenit (Sarawak), meraka (Sarawak), meraka alan (Sarawak), sengawan (Sarawak), seringawan (Sarawak) and singawan batu (Sarawak). The sapwood is light greyish brown and merges gradually into the heartwood, which is deep reddish brown. The timber resembles the Red Balau of Peninsular Malaysia, but is classified as a Medium Hardwood in Sarawak.
Also known as Alan batu (Brunei).
The timber is hard and heavy with a density of 800-925 kg/m3 air dry.
The timber is moderately durable.
Texture is coarse and even, with straight to interlocked grain.
The timber falls into Strength Group B (Burgess, 1958).
It is easy to work and the planed surface is smooth.
The timber seasons well without any serious defects.
Shrinkage is very high, especially in the tangential direction. Radial shrinkage averages 2.2% while tangential shrinkage averages 6%.
The timber is suitable for medium to heavy construction under cover, flooring, interior finishing, panelling, mouldings, furniture manufacture, tool handles (impact) and other types of joinery. It is also used in Sarawak for boat building.
Burgess, H. J. 1958. Strength Grouping of Malaysian Timbers. Malayan Forest Service Trade Leaflet No. 25. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 15 pp.
Menon, P. K. B. 1986. Uses of Some Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. Timber Trade Leaflet No. 31. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 48 pp.
Wong, T. M. 1982. A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. & Chung, R. C. K. Malayan Forest Records No. 30. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 201 pp.