Balau

Latin name: Shorea spp, Shorea atrinervosa, Shorea elliptica, Shorea foxworthyi, Shorea glauca, Shorea laevis, Shorea maxwelliana, Shorea submontana, Shorea guiso, Shorea kunstleri, Shorea collina, Shorea ochrophloia

 

Also known as: Yellow balau, red balau


Wood Type:

Hardwood

Durability:

Durable

Treatability:

Extremely difficult, Moderately easy (Sapwood)

Moisture Movement:

Medium

Density (mean, Kg/m³):

980 (Density can vary by 20% or more)

Texture:

Medium

Availability:

Available at specialist timber merchant

Price:

Low

Sizes:

Obtainable in large sizes

Use(s):

Heavy structural use, Marine or freshwater construction, Decking

Colour(s):

Reddish brown, Yellow brown

Notes on terms used navigation-arrow

Introduction

The hard, heavy timber species of shorea occurring in South East Asia are grouped under common trade names peculiar to the area. Thus selangan batu is the name used in Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak, while balau is used to describe the heavy Malaysian species.

 

Environmental

Many species of shorea appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are classified as:

  • CR – Critically Endangered: at very high risk of extinction in the wild
  • EN – Endangered: at high risk of extinction in the wild
  • VU – Vulnerable: at risk of extinction

[Information courtesy of Timbmet Ltd]

 

Distribution

Selangan batu is produced by several species, principally S. laevis and S seminis. Red selangan batu is principally S. guiso. Balau is generally separated into two types in Malaysia, ie, balau and red balau. Balau is produced mainly from shorea atrinervosa, S. elliptica, S. foxworthyi, S. glauca, S. laevis, S. maxwelliana and S. submontana. Red balau is produced mainly from S. guiso, S. kunstleri, S. collina, and S. ochrophloia.

 

The timber

Selangan batu is a yellowish-brown timber with interlocked grain, and a coarse, but even texture. According to species, durable to very durable. Balau is a yellowish-brown, brown, or reddish-brown timber vvith interlocked grain, and a moderately fine and even texture. It is classified in Malaysia as being very durable. Red balau is a purplish-red or dark red-brown timber, with an interlocked grain, and a coarse but even texture. It is classified in Malaysia as being less durable than balau, ie moderately durable. Red selangan batu (Sabah), and alan, or meraka alan (Saravvak and Brunei) are approximately equal in colour and characteristics to red balau.

 

Drying

Difficult to dry, slow drying with a tendency to end split, warping is variable.

 

Strength

All the species mentioned have hard, heavy and strong timbers with strength properties similar to those of greenheart.

Suppliers

A W Champion Limitednavigation-arrow

A W Champion Limitednavigation-arrow

Beaumont Forest Products Limitednavigation-arrow

High Wycombe

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Chaunceys Timber Flooring Ltdnavigation-arrow

Bristol

Ecochoice Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridge

Ecochoice Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridge

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Grangemouth

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

Suppliers

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Grangemouth

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

Ecochoice Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridge

Ecochoice Ltdnavigation-arrow

Cambridge

Chaunceys Timber Flooring Ltdnavigation-arrow

Bristol

Capricorn Eco Timbernavigation-arrow

Stafford

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Brooks Bros (UK) Limitednavigation-arrow

Chelmsford

Beaumont Forest Products Limitednavigation-arrow

High Wycombe

A W Champion Limitednavigation-arrow

A W Champion Limitednavigation-arrow