MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF <em>TAMARINDUS</em> <em>INDICA</em>
Keywords:Alternative species, timber strength, specific gravity, light-coloured
The timber of ramin and rubberwood are highly valued for furniture, panelling and decorative mouldings. With the trade restriction of ramin and escalated market price of rubberwood, the widely distributed Tamarindus indica is a potential alternative for light-coloured timber. The tamarind tree was introduced to Malaysia for food and medicinal uses. This article reports on some physical and mechanical properties of T. indica timber. Timber specimens of a 15-year-old T. indica were tested for modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), compressive strength parallel to the grain, compressive strength perpendicular to the grain, shearing strength, Janka hardness and specific gravity according to BS 373 standard methods. The sapwood of T. indica is pale yellow to cream in colour and the heartwood is poorly distinguished. Planing of the timber produced good to excellent surfaces and was rated as easy. The green and air-dry MOR values were 79.9 and 95.3 N mm-2 respectively. The green and air-dry MOE values were 8530 N mm-2 and 8476 N mm-2 respectively. Janka hardness of T. indica was 4747 N, indicating a potential usage for high foot-traffic flooring such as for offices, showrooms, indoor sport arenas and restaurants. The specific gravity values were recorded in the range of 0.637 to 0.724.