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Balau (Shorea spp)

Family – Dipterocarpaceae

Distribution – South East Asia

Other Names: Shorea guiso / Laeviflora / maxwelliana / plagata, Balau merah, Guijo, Membatu, Red balau, Red selangan, Red selangan batu

Characteristics: Balau is yellow-brown to dark-brown, with a fine texture and interlocked grain. It is of variable weight, ranging from 800-1000 Kg/M3. Balau is slow drying with a tendency to split on the surface; in larger sizes it cannot be effectively dried. Balau is noted for its strength and toughness, and is extremely durable even under tropical conditions.

Working Qualities: Nails and screws need to be predrilled, doesn’t glue well due to its oily nature.

Uses: Balau is amongst the most important structural timber in its countries of origin. It is used for heavy duty structural work, bridge and wharf construction, sleepers, flooring, decking and boat framing.