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November 24, 2009

Kempas

KOOMPASSIA MALACCENSIS

Kempas is a highly decorative hardwood that is commonly used as flooring. The strength of kempas is comparable to some heavy hardwoods and is suitable for structural usage and has been widely used in the building industry. The wood is compact, hard and heavy with a distinctive appearance.

FAMILY
Leguminosae.

OTHER COMMON NAMES
Impas, Mengris, Thongbeung.

ORIGIN
Malay Peninsula and Indonesia.

APPEARANCE
Heartwood is pinkish red when freshly cut and darkens on exposure to an orange-red with numerous yellow-brown streaks due to the soft tissue associated with the pores. Streaks of the brittle stone-like tissue are fairly common and are a source of mechanical weakness. Sapwood is white or pale yellow. Coarse-textured with a bright, natural luster and medium interlocked grain.

DENSITY AND BUOYANCY
Janka hardness is 1710, 33% harder than Red Oak (1210 Janka). Average weight is relatively heavy at 55 lbs./cu. ft. Specific gravity is .72, making this wood somewhat buoyant.

DRYING AND SHRINKAGE
Dries rather easily but slowly and with a low shrinkage rate. It can experience some splitting, checking and distortion due to abnormalities in the wood. Very stable in service.

WORKABILITY
Kempas contains pockets of hard deposits that can provide some difficulty when sawing and can promote blunting of tools. High resistance to cutting in most machine operations. Pre-boring is suggested yet the wood holds nails well once applied. This species sands well and glues well, but does require some filling to ensure a good polish. It dresses smoothly in most applications, and finishes well.

DURABILITY
Kempas has a natural resistance to decay. The wood is durable to fungi but susceptible to dry wood borers and termites.

PRESERVATION
The timber is not durable but it is amenable to preservative treatment. Wood has a slightly acidic character and may tend to promote corrosion in metals. When exterior utilization is anticipated, the wood must be treated with preservatives.

USES
Flooring, mouldings, furniture and cabinets.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
An Asian hardwood valued for its durability, kempas ranges in color from light pinkish-brown when freshly milled to reddish-brown and yellowish-red upon exposure to light. Dense with excellent wearing properties, kempas offers a blend of elegance, natural beauty and affordability that few flooring species can match.

Kempas offers:


  • excellent dimensional stability
  • moderate to high variation in color
  • sands, nails and finishes well

LUMBER
Standard and custom sizes available in flooring and mouldings.


  • 4/4", 5/4" thickness
  • 6" and wider
  • 6' and longer

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