Merbau Hardwood Technical Species Information & Technical Species Information

Detailed scientific and mechanical properties for Merbau Hardwood Lumber


  • Description: Merbau is a beautiful exotic hardwood that grows in the forests of Southeast Asia as well as throughout the South Pacific region. When freshly cut the color of the wood is yellow to orangish-brown, but upon exposure will darken to a rich dark brown to reddish-brown color much like Brazilian Cherry. One unique characteristic of Merbau is the yellow flecks, or mineral deposits, which can be seen in many of the pieces. These flecks will become more subtle over time, but when initially finished the wood appears to be flecked with gold.
  • More Info: Merbau truly is a perfect exotic wood floor species for a number of reasons. Not only is it a great alternative to Brazilian Cherry, which has become harder & harder to acquire, not to mention somewhat expensive, but it has all of the properties you look for in a wood floor; beautiful color, optimum hardness, & outstanding stability. Nova USA currently imports Merbau in a Solid 11/16" x 3-1/4” & 5” width. The product is Clear grade with 1’-6’ lengths and is only available Unfinished.
  • Other Names: Kwila, Ipil, Malacca Teak, Mirabow, Moluccan Ironwood
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Merbau Lumber Scientific Properties and Technical Specifications

  • Janka Hardness: 1,840 pounds
  • Strength (MOR): 20,700 psi
  • Stiffness (MOE): 2,465 1000 psi
  • Density (KG/m3): 750
  • Color: Heartwood yellowish to orange brown when freshly cut, turning brown or dark red brown on exposure; sapwood pale yellow to light buff, sharply demarcated from the heartwood.
  • Photosensitivity: Moderate
  • Tangential Shrinkage: 4.6 %
  • Radial Shrinkage: 2.7 %
  • Family: Leguminosae
  • Tree Characteristics: A large tree often with a rather short, thick bole, sometimes to 50 ft, often fluted; trunk diameters to 5 ft above large spreading buttresses.
  • Geographic Area: Indo-Malayan region, Indonesia, Philippines, and many of the western Pacific islands as well as Australia.
  • Texture: Coarse
  • Grain: Straight to interlocked or wavy.
  • Luster: Variable
  • Durability Rating: Heartwood has an average service life of 6 years in Malayan stake tests but generally reputed to have good durability; highly resistant to termite attack. Sapwood prone to powder-post beetle attack.
  • Drying Characteristics: Seasons well with little degrade. Movement in service is rated as small.
  • Working Characteristics: Rather difficult to saw because of gumming of teeth and dulling of cutting edges, dresses smoothly in most operations, finishes well.
  • Applications: Flooring, furniture, paneling, fine joinery, decorative turnery, cabinetmaking, musical instruments, specialty items. The wood is also a dye source.
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