Yellow Meranti


INTRODUCTION

The Standard Malaysian Name for the timber of the Richetia group of Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae). Vernacular names applied include bam (Pahang), damar hitam (Peninsular Malaysia) with various epithets, meranti (Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak) with various epithets, seraya (Pahang), seraya kuning (Sabah) with various epithets and other localised names too numerous to list here. Major species include S. dolichocarpa, S. faguetiana, S. gibbosa, S. hopeifolia, S. longisperma, S. maxima and S. multiflora. The sapwood is lighter in colour and is clearly defined from the heartwood, which is lighter yellow-brown with a green tinge, darkening to deeper shades of yellow-brown or brown.

Also known as Yellow Meranti (Brunei); Dammar hitam, Dammar kelepek and Meranti kuning (Indonesia); Bam, Manggasinoro and Yellow Lauan (Philippines); and Kalo (Thailand).


DENSITY

The timber is a Light Hardwood with a density of 575-735 kg/m3 air dry.


NATURAL DURABILITY

The standard graveyard tests conducted at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) have shown that the average service life of S. multiflora and S. longisperma are 1.9 years and 1.1 years respectively. Out of the 45 tests stakes of S. multiflora, 15 stakes were destroyed within 6 months while the last two stakes were completely destroyed after three years. Similarly, tests on S. longisperma indicated that only about 8 percent of the test stakes were still serviceable at the end of the first year. The destruction of timber was caused almost exclusively by termites. Therefore, yellow meranti is classified as not durable under Malaysian conditions.


PRESERVATIVE TREATMENT

The timber is moderately difficult to treat with preservatives.


TEXTURE

Texture is moderately coarse but even, with usually interlocked and sometimes wavy grain.


STRENGTH PROPERTIES

The timber falls into Strength Group C (Engku, 1988b) or SG6 (MS 544: Part 2: 2001).


Strength Properties of Yellow Meranti

Species

Test Condition

Modulus of Elasticity(MPa)

Modulus of Rupture(MPa)

Compression parallel to grain
(MPa)

Compression perpendicular to grain  (MPa)

Shear Strength (MPa)

S. faguetiana

Green

10,700

60

32.8

3.86

6.4

Air dry

-

-

-

-

-

S. longisperma

Green

10,500

55

29.5

2.97

6.0

Air dry

-

-

-

-

-

S. multiflora

Green

11,000

57

30.2

-

6.5

Air dry

12,100

67

40.0

-

8.0


MACHINING PROPERTIES

It is easy to resaw and cross-cut in both green or air dry conditions. Planing is also easy and the planed surface is smooth to moderately smooth. 


Machining Properties of Yellow Meranti

Species

Test condition

Sawing

Planing

Boring

Turning

Re-sawing

Cross- cutting

Ease of planing

Quality of finish

Ease of boring

Quality of finish

Ease of turning

Quality of finish

S. faguetiana

Green

easy

easy

easy

smooth

easy

smooth to rough

-

-

Air dry

easy

easy

easy

moderately smooth

easy

rough

easy

slightly rough

S. longisperma

Green

easy

easy

easy

smooth

easy

smooth to rough

-

-

Air dry

easy

easy

easy

smooth

easy

rough

easy

slightly rough

S. multiflora

Green

easy

easy

easy

smooth

easy

smooth to slightly rough

-

-

Air dry

easy

easy

easy

smooth

easy

rough

easy

slightly rough


NAILING PROPERTY

Nailing property ranges from good to poor depending on the species.


AIR DRYING

The timber dries moderately slowly, with very little degrade, except for some cupping, bowing and powder-post beetle attacks in the sapwood. 13 mm thick boards take approximately 3 months to air dry, while 38 mm thick boards take 5 months.


KILN-DRYING

Kiln Schedule J is recommended. The timber is reported to dry well without any defects.


Kiln Schedule J

Moisture Content (%)

Temperature (Dry Bulb)

Temperature (Wet Bulb)

Relative Humidity (%) (approx.)

F

C

F

C

Green

135

57.0

123

50.5

70

50

135

57.0

119

48.0

60

40

140

60.0

118

47.5

50

30

150

65.5

121

49.0

40

20

170

76.5

127

53.0

30


SHRINKAGE

Shrinkage is rather high to high, especially in the tangential direction. Radial shrinkage ranges between 0.9% and 1.2% while tangential shrinkage ranges between 3.1% and 3.8%.


DEFECTS

Yellow meranti timbers are liable to brittle-heart formation. The extent of damage due to the brittle heart may be negligible in some logs but appreciable in others. The timber appears to be relatively free from shot-hole borer damage but they are subjected to attack by pin-hole borer (Desch, 1941). They are also reported to be highly susceptible to powder post beetle after felling (Menon, 1957). The timber stains when in contact with iron components ( Burgess, 1966).


USES

The timber is suitable for general utility purpose, light construction, planking for vehicle bodies as well as ship and boat building, panelling, mouldings, partitioning, shop and office fittings, furniture, joinery, flooring, decking, staircase (angle blocks, rough bracket, apron lining, baluster, balustrade and sprandrel framing), tool handles (non impact), pallets, railway sleepers, posts, beams, joists, rafters and pencil. This timber is highly prized as a plywood species.


REFERENCES

  1. Burgess, P. F. 1966. Timbers of Sabah. Sabah For. Rec. No. 6.
  2. Choo, K. T. & Lim, S. C. 1988. Malaysian Timbers Yellow Meranti. Timber Trade Leaflet No. 107. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 4 pp.
  3. Desch, H. E. 1941. Manual of Malayan Timbers. Vol. 1 Mal. For. Rec. No. 15.
  4. Engku Abdul Rahman Chik. 1988b. Basic And Grade Stresses For Some Malaysian Timbers. Malayan Forest Service Trade Leaflet No. 38. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board And Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 13 pp.
  5. Menon, K. D. 1957. Susceptible of Commercial Species of Malayan Timbers to Powder-post Beetle Attack. Malaysian Forest Service Trade Leaflet No.27.
  6. 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 Insitute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 48 pp.
  7. MS 544: Part 2: 2001: Code Of Practice For Structural Use Of Timber. Permissible Stress Design of Solid Timber.
  8. Redding, L. W. 1977. Resistance of Timbers to Impregnation with Creosote. F.P.R.I. Bulletin No. 54 HMSO London.
  9. Wong, T. M. 1982. A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. & Chung, R. C. K. Malayan Forest Record No. 30. Forest Research Institute Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. 201 pp.