Botanical Name: Shorea laevis
Species Type: Hardwood
Origin: Asia, SE Asia
Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Balau is a dense hardwood used mainly for heavy construction.
The heartwood of Balau is yellow to brown, which is distinct from the paler sapwood. Its moderately fine and even texture presents an interlocked grain, which produces a stripe figure on the radial surface. Balau is also susceptible to pinhole borer damage.
In relation to its density, Balau is relatively easy to work. It does not contain silica, however resin pockets may be present, meaning resin can build up on cutting equipment. Pre-drilling is advisable when nailing. Balau can be painted, stained and polished but is not suitable for steam bending.
Uses of Balau
• Architectural Roof Trusses
• Exterior Rails and Balustrades
• Exterior Stairs
• Interior Stairs
• Retaining Walls (Landscaping)
• Shear walls
• Structural Timber Poles
• Timber Portal Frames