Melantai


INTRODUCTION

The Standard Malaysian Name for certain lightweight reddish and yellowish timber of Shorea spp. (Dipterocarpaceae). Vernacular names applied include belantai (Kedah), kawang with various epithets in Sabah, engkabang for S. macrophylla in Sarawak and melantai (Peninsular Malaysia). The species as a group are more developed in Sabah and Sarawak than in Peninsular Malaysia. Only one species occurs in Peninsular Malaysia and that is S. macroptera. The other species belonging to this group include S. macrophylla, S. parvistipulata ssp. parvistipulata, S. pilosa, S. pinanga and S. scaberrima. The timber is separated from the red merantis on the grounds in that melantai is usually lighter in density and tends to have a bright yellow tinge. The sapwood is lighter in colour and is not sharply defined but moderately distinct from the heartwood, which is yellow-pink when freshly cut, weathering to a light pink colour with a yellow tinge.

Also known as Meranti Merah (Indonesia).


DENSITY

The timber is a Light Hardwood with a density of 415-625 kg/m3 air dry.


NATURAL DURABILITY

The timber is non-durable in exposed conditions.


PRESERVATIVE TREATMENT

It is difficult to treat with preservatives.


TEXTURE

Texture is moderately coarse but even, with interlocked grain.


STRENGTH PROPERTIES

The timber falls into Strength Group C (Engku, 1988b) or SG 6 (MS 544:Part 2:2001).


MACHINING PROPERTIES

It is easy to work and planes to a smooth and highly lustrous surface.


NAILING PROPERTY

The nailing property is rated as good.


AIR DRYING

The timber seasons fairly rapidly without any defects. 13 mm thick boards take 2 months to air dry, while 38 mm thick boards take 4 months.


KILN-DRYING

Kiln Schedule H is recommended. The timber dries very fast without degrade. 25 mm thick boards take an average of 6 days to kiln-dry from 50 to 10% moisture content.


Kiln Schedule H

Moisture Content (%)

Temperature
(Dry Bulb)

Temperature
(Wet Bulb)

Relative Humidity (%)

F

C

F

C

Green

135

57.0

127

53.0

80

50

135

57.0

126

52.0

75

40

140

60.0

126

52.0

65

30

150

65.5

129

54.0

55

20

170

76.5

136

58.0

40


SHRINKAGE

Shrinkage is fairly low, especially when compared with other species of Shorea. Radial shrinkage averages 0.9% while tangential shrinkage averages 2.6%.


USES

The timber is suitable for interior finishing, mouldings, panelling, pallet (expendable type), furniture, staircase (handrail, sprandrel framing, angle blocks and rough brackets), plywood, joinery, cabinet making, tool handles (non-impact), planking, shelving and the manufacture of doors.


REFERENCES

  1. Engku Abdul Rahman Chik. 1998b. Basic and Grade Stresses for Strength Groups of Malaysian Timbers. Malayan Forest Service Trade Leaflet No. 38. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 13 pp.
  2. 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.
  3. MS 544:Part 2:2001. Code of Practice for the Structural Use of Timber: Permissible Stress Design of Solid Timber.
  4. 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.