Nipis Kulit

INTRODUCTION

The common Malaysian name for the trees and timber of Memecylon spp. (Melastomataceae). Vernacular names applied include delek tembaga (Peninsular Malaysia). Major species include M. garcinioides, M. lilacinum and M. pubescens. The sapwood is lighter in colour but not sharply defined from the heartwood, which is dark purple-brown in M. lilacinum and various shades of yellow-brown or brown in the other species.

Also known as Anjoeroe batoe, Boenga, Karaseng doekoe, Koroedoe maeto, Mangas kelapa, Mipan kulit, Pento, Reok, Ropisi, Temberas jantung and Wara (Indonesia); and Phlong (Thailand).


DENSITY

The timber is hard to very hard and heavy to very heavy with a density of 850-1,155 kg/m3 air dry.


NATURAL DURABILITY

The timber is moderately durable.


PRESERVATIVE TREATMENT

The sapwood readily absorbs preservatives, while the heartwood is impenetrable.


TEXTURE

Texture is fine or moderately fine and uneven due to the presence of included phloem. Grain is interlocked and sometimes irregular.


STRENGTH PROPERTIES

The timber falls into Strength Group B (Burgess, 1958).


MACHINING PROPERTIES

It is difficult to resaw and cross-cut, causing rapid blunting of the cutter tools. Planing is also difficult and the planed surface produced is smooth on the tangential side but only moderately smooth on the radial side.


NAILING PROPERTY

The nailing property is rated as very poor.


AIR DRYING

The timber seasons fairly slowly with moderate amount of borer attacks, slight bowing, twisting, end-checking and surface-checking as the main sources of defects. 13 mm thick boards take approximately 4 months to air dry, while 38 mm thick boards take 6 months.


SHRINKAGE

Shrinkage is high, with radial shrinkage averaging 2.7% and tangential shrinkage averaging 4%.


USES

The small size of the tree precludes any extensive utilisation of this timber. It has been used for poles and firewood.


REFERENCES

  1. 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.
  2. 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.