Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Ramin

Scientific name

Gonystylus spp. (mixed group comprised of over 20 species). Family: Gonystylaceae

Other names

Melawis (Malaysia); mavota (Fiji); nununa (Solomon Islands); bagyo; lanutan (Philippines)

Description

  • Medium to tall hardwood.
  • Grows to 50m high and 1.2m diameter on good sites.
  • Straight bole (trunk) and aerial roots but no true buttress.
  • Bark is grey, brown, or red-brown, scaly and covered in very fine irritating hairs.
  • Stems are sometimes fluted at the base.

Occurrence

  • Species marketed as ramin occur in:
    • Malaysia
    • Indonesia
    • Philippines
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Fiji.
  • Grows in coastal swamps and peat forests but can also found in low altitude rainforests.

Appearance

Colour

  • Sapwood not distinct from heartwood.
  • Sapwood is a uniform, pale straw or cream white.

Grain

  • Grain is straight or shallowly interlocked.
  • Texture moderately fine to even.

Uses

  • Construction: protected framing, internal flooring.
  • Decorative: furniture, plywood, turnery, picture frames, mouldings and joinery, veneer, carving, panelling.
  • Others: non-impact tool handles, toys, dowels, drawers.

Properties

  • Density: 630kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.6m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
  • Strength groups: S4 unseasoned, SD4 seasoned.
  • Stress grades: F7, F8, F11, F14 (unseasoned); F11, F14, F17, F22 (seasoned) when visually stress-graded according to AS 2082—2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes.
  • Joint groups: JD3 seasoned.
  • Shrinkage to 12% MC: 4.5% (tangential), 1.7% (radial).
  • Unit shrinkage: 0.13% (tangential), 0.16% (radial)—these values apply to timber of G. macrophyllus reconditioned after seasoning.
  • Durability above-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 7 years).
  • Durability in-ground: Class 4 (life expectancy less than 5 years).
  • Lyctine susceptibility: untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
  • Termite resistance: not resistant.
  • Preservation: relatively easy to impregnate with preservatives.
  • Seasoning: seasons well but may be prone to surface checking and end splits, particularly in thicker sections; prone to sap stain fungi attack.
  • Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and work with hand tools.
  • Machining: easy to work to a smooth finish with hand and machine tools, although cutting edges can blunt moderately.
  • Fixing: screws well, pre-drill when nailing near board ends to prevent splitting.
  • Gluing: glues well.
  • Finishing: painting, staining and polishing characteristics are good.

Identification features

General characteristics

  • Sapwood: not differentiated by colour.
  • Heartwood: cream white to pale straw.
  • Texture: moderately fine, uniform, generally straight grain.

Wood structure

  • Vessels: solitary and radial groups up to 4 cells, medium size, uniform distribution; vessel lines visible but not prominent.
  • Parenchyma (soft tissue):aliform with thin extended wings, sometimes confluent.
  • Rays: fine.

Other features

  • Burning splinter test: wood burns to ash.

Research and resources

  • Bootle, K 2005, Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Sydney.
  • Ilic, J 1991, CSIRO atlas of hardwoods, Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.
  • Queensland Government, DAF 2018, Construction timbers in Queensland: Properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland. Class 1 and Class 10 buildings, Books 1 & 2, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Brisbane.
  • Standards Australia, 2000, AS 2082-2000: Timber—Hardwood—Visually stress-graded for structural purposes, Standards Australia International, Strathfield, NSW.