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