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- In nature, rubberwood is a large hardwood.
- In plantations, at the time of felling (usually 25 years) trees have a clear bole (trunk) more than 10m high and 25–45cm in diameter.
- Occurs in tropical evergreen rainforests of:
- Planted extensively in many tropical countries to produce latex (natural rubber).
- Mostly produced in:
- Malaysia—has 2 million hectares of rubber plantations and produces 45% of total world rubber.
- Sapwood is not distinct from the heartwood.
- Timber is whitish yellow when freshly cut and seasons to cream, straw or light brown, often with a pinkish tinge.
- Grain is straight to shallowly interlocked or wavy.
- Texture is moderately coarse but even.
- Construction: flooring, internal step treads, concrete formwork, joinery.
- Decorative: panelling, balustrading, parquetry, joinery, turnery. Used extensively in the Australian furniture market as indoor furniture e.g. dining suites, bar stools and rocking chairs.
- Others: particleboard, knife blocks, cheese boards, salad bowls, trays.
- Density: 640kg/m3 at 12% moisture content; about 1.6 to 1.8m3 of seasoned sawn timber per tonne.
- Strength groups: (S7) unseasoned, (SD7) seasoned (brackets indicate provisional value).
- Stress grades: F4, F5, F7, (unseasoned); F5, F7, F8, F11 (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: not available.
- Unit shrinkage: not available.
- 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: sapwood readily impregnates with preservative, but penetration of heartwood is variable using available commercial processes.
- Seasoning: seasons rapidly but prone to distort if not carefully stacked and dried; very stable in-service.
- Hardness: firm (rated 4 on a 6-class scale) to indent and working with hand tools.
- Machining: easy to saw, cross-cut, plane, turn and bore; maintain sharp cutting edges to avoid 'woolliness'.
- Fixing: pre-bore prior to nailing.
- Gluing: glues satisfactorily.
- Finishing: readily accepts paint, stain and polish.
- Sapwood: not differentiated from the heartwood.
- Heartwood: whitish yellow when freshly cut, darkening to cream-straw or light brown on exposure, often with pink tints.
- Texture: moderately coarse but even.
- Vessels: small to medium, generally arranged in short radial multiples with few solitary and occasional clusters; obvious vessel lines on longitudinal face.
- Resin canals: numerous; prominent as lines on dressed longitudinal surfaces.
- Parenchyma (soft tissue): distinct regularly spaced bands forming a net-like pattern with the rays.
- Rays: fine to medium, readily visible with a lens.
- Deposits: tyloses present.
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.
- Last reviewed: 12 Dec 2018
- Last updated: 12 Dec 2018