Kelat


INTRODUCTION

The Standard Malaysian Name for the timber of Syzygium spp. (Myrtaceae). Vernacular names applied include jambu (Sarawak), kelat (Peninsular Malaysia) with various epithets, keriang (Peninsular Malaysia), obah (Sarawak) with various epithets and ubah (Sarawak). The latest taxonomic revision of the genus has produced 200 species. The sapwood is not sharply differentiated from the heartwood, which is light brown, pink–brown, red-brown or purple-brown with a grey tinge.

Also known as Ubah (Brunei); Plong and Tram (Cambodia); Olala (Fiji); Jaman (India); Duhat, Jambu laut, Ki tembaga and Salam (Indonesia); Va kaew (Laos); Thabye and Thabye-gui (Myanmar); Water gum (Papua New Guinea); Binolan, Makassim, Mariig and Mekasim (Philippines); Asi (Samoa Islands); Batadomba and Madan (Sri Lanka); Daeng, Dang Khao, Mao and Wa (Thailand); and Plong and Tram (Vietnam).


DENSITY

The timber is a Medium Hardwood with a density of 495-1,010 kg/m3 air dry.


NATURAL DURABILITY

Kelat has been classified as a moderately durable timber with an average service life of 3.3 years under natural Malaysian conditions (Jackson, 1965). However, the result cannot be wholly-relied on as it was obtained only from the timber of E. griffithii. Considering the large number of Eugenia species, appreciable variation in durability within the genus is to be expected. Desch (1954) reported a test carried out on two sticks of E. chlorantha, one treated with a mixture of 50 percent creosote and 50 percent fuel oil (absorption of 123 kg/m3) and the other untreated. Both the sticks were exposed to marine conditions at Port Klang. The untreated stick remained serviceable for less than two years whereas the treated stick remained serviceable for only two to three years. 


PRESERVATIVE TREATMENT

The timber of kelat does not absorb preservatives readily.    


TEXTURE

Texture is moderately fine and even with interlocked, irregular or wavy grain.


STRENGTH PROPERTIES

The timber falls into Strength Group B (Burgess, 1958) or SG 3 (MS 544:Part 2:2001).


Strength Properties of Kelat (E. griffithii)

Test Condition

Modulus of Elasticity(MPa)

Modulus of Rupture(MPa)

Compression parallel to grain (MPa)

Compression perpendicular to grain (MPa)

Shear strength(MPa)

Green

-

-

43.0

4.6

8.6

Air dry

17,600

116

59.0

6.0

12.8


MACHINING PROPERTIES

It is easy to resaw and cross-cut. Planing is easy and the planed surface is smooth.


Machining Properties of Kelat (E. griffithii) 

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

Green

easy

easy

easy

smooth

moderately easy

fairly smooth

-

-

Air dry

easy

easy

easy

smooth

slightly difficult

slightly rough

difficult

smooth


NAILING PROPERTY

The nailing property is rated as poor.


AIR DRYING

The timber seasons very slowly with end-checking and insect attacks as the main defects. 13 mm thick boards take 5 months to air dry, while 38 mm thick boards take 10 months.


KILN-DRYING

Kiln Schedule C is recommended.


Kiln Schedule C

 Moisture Content (%)

Temperature (Dry Bulb)

Temperature (Wet Bulb)

Relative Humidity (%) (approx.)

° F

° C

° F

° C

Green

105

40.5

101

38.0

85

60

105

40.5

99

37.0

80

40

110

43.5

102

39.0

75

35

110

43.5

100

38.0

70

30

115

46.0

103

39.5

65

25

125

51.5

109

43.0

60

20

140

60.0

118

47.5

50

15

150

65.5

121

49.0

40


SHRINKAGE

Shrinkage is high, with radial shrinkage averaging 1.9% and tangential shrinkage averaging 3.3%.


DEFECTS

Logs of kelat are normally free from any serious defects except for some occasional occurence of end splits and heart shakes. Attacks by 'pin' and 'powder' post beetles are rare and not serious. E. attenuata, E. dyeriana and E. polyantha have been found to be attacked by dry wood termites.


USES

The timber is strong enough to be used for structural purposes like posts, beams, joists, rafters, medium heavy structures, telegraphic and power transmission posts and cross arms, staircase (angle blocks, rough brackets and newels), vehicle bodies (framework, floor boards and planking), ship and boat building (keels, keelsons and framework) as well as columns (light duty). If properly treated, it may be suitable for tramways, railway sleepers for secondary lines, bridges, wharves and agricultural implements.


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. Desch, H. E. 1954. Manual of Malayan Timbers. Vol. II. Mal. For. Rec. No. 15.
  3. Jackson, W. F. 1965. The Durability of Malayan Timbers. Mal. For. Ser. Trade Leaflet No. 28.
  4. Lim, S. C. 1984. Malaysian Timbers - Kelat. Timber Trade Leaflet No. 88. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 8 pp. 
  5. 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.
  6. MS 544:Part 2:2001. Code of Practice for the Structural Use of Timber: Permissible Stress Design of Solid Timber.
  7. 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. 201pp.