Kempas is a large hardwood of the lowland
forests and swampy regions of the island states of Malaysia and Indonesia normally growing to
height of about 55 metres.
A similar species Tualang,
which also grows in the Philippines
is often mixed with Kempas however, as is the
case from Malaysia,
it should be considered separately.
The timber dries quickly with low
shrinkage rates between 2 to 3%, but has a tendency to split so care should
be taken in the process, although it is very stable in service. No silica
is present, however being so hard the timber is
difficult to work particularly with hand tools.
The heartwood is dark pink to
reddish brown darkening with age and often having yellowish streaks which
slightly confuse it with the sapwood which is pale yellow to light pinkish
brown. Apart from these streaks it is usually easy to define and is
susceptible to lyctid borer attack.
In Malaysia and Indonesia, Kempas is often used as high quality finishing timber
particularly for parquetry, strip flooring, panelling
and other joinery and when treated, for external building timbers such as
posts and beams and also for commercial application like bridges and
Kempas T&G Flooring
Boring: Slightly difficult
Turning: Slightly difficult
1000 kg m3 green
850 kg m3 dry
Durability: Class 3
Hardness Rating (average)
9.0 kN dry
Suitable for heavy construction, railway
sleepers, transmission posts, beams, joists, bridges, wharves, fence posts,
piling, parquet and strip flooring, paneling, heavy-duty furniture,
heavy-duty pallets, boxes, crates and tool handles.