Merbau– Intsia bijuga (AKA Kwila) Timber Species

Merbau Wood Appearance

Colour – Heartwood yellowish-brown or orange-brown when first cut, turning darker with age to brown or reddish-brown. Sapwood white, pale yellow or buff and sharply differentiated from heartwood.

Grain – Grain variable but usually interlocked or wavy, texture is coarse but even. Attractive figure on back sawn material.

Kwila Wood Properties

Density – 830-865 kg/m3

Durability – Class 2 – Highly resistant to decay when fully exposed to the weather, clear of the ground and well drained with free air circulation. Only moderately decay resistant in the ground.

Hardness – Hard (rated 2 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools

Merbau Identification Features

Sapwood – Sharply differentiated from the heartwood

Heartwood – Dark red-brown or yellow-brown in colour

Texture – Coarse and eve; grain often interlocked

Merbau Wood Structure

Vessels – Moderately large, visible to naked eye; short radial pairs or multiples and solitary cells. Sulphur-yellow and dark coloured deposits often visible. Vessel lines prominent on longitudinal surfaces.

Parenchyma – Abundant, aliform and occasionally confluent, with terminal bands present.

Rays – Moderately fine, not visible without a lens

Merbau Other Features

Burning Splinter Test – A match size splinter burns to a white ash