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Wood species

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BANGKIRAI (Shorea laevis)


Bangkirai (or sometimes named Balau) is a highly rated timber that is frequently used for trusses and structural wood members in areas where termites habitat, however, it is fiction to believe that Bangkirai is 100% termite resistant as many others tend to believe. While the heartwood is not susceptible to termite attacks, sapwood positively isRefer to :

The remedy: build with sole Bangkirai heartwood to protect your unit from termite attacks......Well, that is in fact a fairy tale. None of the Indonesian timber suppliers is willing to supply Bangkirai heartwood only (normally reddish in color), unless a very high price will be paid for the timber. They will mix the batch with sap wood (which is pale yellow), or supply sap wood only. Conclusion: You shall not automatically believe that a house built from Bangkirai is not susceptible to termite attacks, at least we are not promoting this. However, our companycould sign a deal with one to the Balinese suppliers that we are allowed to select Bangkirai heartwood from its stock without extra costs. You may read this to learn more <termite resistance>

Life time

Bangkirai is listed in durability class 2, which means that the above-ground life expectancy of untreated (no coating applied) Bangkirai is at least 15 years. When Bangkirai is maintained on a 2 to 3-year recurrent basis the life time will increase to at least 40 years or more. 


The wood texture of Bangkirai ranges from fine to rather coarse. The  grain is straight or interlocked. The wood surface is smooth or alternately smooth and rough owing to the interlocked grain. Wood surface is glossy. Reddish heartwood and yellowish pale to light brown sapwood.  Bangkirai when  kiln dried may show some minor cracks after the process. These cracks will open and close as the surrounding humidity changes. When untreated Bangkirai is left in the open it will turn black.  

Physical properties

Bangkirai has a high strength and durability, is hard and heavy with high stiffness and shock resistance. Excellent decay  resistance and dimensional stability. However, Bangkirai will show tiny cracks due to its natural tendency to shrink a bit over time (even after kiln drying). It is therefore less suitable for the use in doors, windows, flooring and/or sidings, in particular in an arid environment. Nonetheless, if such tiny cracks are accepted (giving it an antique look), Bangkirai is an extremely durable hardwood and will last a life time. Bangkirai comes in two classes. A and B, whereas A is heartwood and B=sapwood.           

Main use

Flooring beams, construction members, railway sleepers, electric poles.

  Untreated Bangkirai (sap wood)


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Last modified: August 19, 2013
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