Amoora

Scientific name

Amoora spp. Principally A. cucullata. Family: Meliaceae

Local names

Pacific maple, thitni (Burma), amoor (Pakistan), tasua (Thailand), amari (India), mava, mua mua, mawa, lulua, maota, namota, manatpuku, garotai, maoa, muta. There are several species in Malaysia which may be mixed in parcels of meranti. Often shipped as ´Meliaceae´ in mixed parcels.

Description and natural occurrence

On good sites amoora can reach 30 m in height and log diameters of 1 m. The bole is straight and relatively short with steep, plank-like buttresses reaching 1.8 m. The crown is a dense, deep, dome. Amoora species range from Thailand to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, occurring commonly in lowland forest and on ridges.

Wood appearance

Colour. Heartwood ranges from pink-brown to red-brown. Sapwood is a distinctly lighter colour and can be white to pink-brown and 25 mm wide.

Grain. Grain is straight or slightly interlocked, with moderately coarse texture.

Wood properties

Density. 555 kg/m3 at 12 % moisture content; approximately 1.8 m3 of seasoned, sawn timber per tonne.

Strength groups. S6 unseasoned; SD6 seasoned

Stress grades. F4, F5, F7, F8 (unseasoned), F7, F8, F11, F14 (seasoned), when visually stress-graded in accordance with AS 2082-2000, Timber - hardwood - visually stress-graded hardwood for structural purposes.

Joint groups. J4 unseasoned; JD4 seasoned

Shrinkage to 12% MC. 6.9 % (tangential); 2.9 % (radial).

Unit shrinkage. 0.28 % (tangential); 0.21 % (radial). These values apply to timber reconditioned after seasoning.

Durability above-ground. Class 3 - life expectancy 7 to 15 years.

Durability in-ground. Class 3 - life expectancy 5 to 15 years.

Lyctine susceptibility. Untreated sapwood susceptible to lyctine borer attack.

Termite resistance. Not resistant.

Preservation. Amoora is difficult to impregnate with preservatives, resulting in unsatisfactory penetration.

Seasoning. Slight collapse and some twisting may occur. Use of weights recommended to minimise distortion. 25-50 mm stock kiln dries relatively easily to 12% moisture content.

Hardness. Soft (rated 5 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools.

Machining. Despite its medium density, amoora is not very easy to saw. It machines to a smooth surface.

Fixing. No difficulty has been experienced with the use of standard fittings and fastenings.

Gluing. Can be satisfactorily bonded using standard procedures.

Finishing. Seasoned timber surfaces will readily accept stain, polish, or paint.

Uses

Construction. Light construction, weatherboards, shingles.

Decorative. Furniture, mouldings, joinery, plywood veneer, wall panelling, louvres and shutters.

Others. Crates, fruit cases, canoe planks and paddles (Solomon Is, Papua New Guinea).

Identification features

Some specimens have a tendency for zonate vessel arrangement.

Burning splinter test. A match size splinter burns to white ash.

Further reading

Bootle, K 2005, 'Wood in Australia: types, properties and uses', 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Hopewell, G (ed.) 2006, 'Construction timbers in Queensland: properties and specifications for satisfactory performance of construction timbers in Queensland, Class 1 and Class 10 buildings', books 1 and 2, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.

Ilic, J 1991, 'CSIRO atlas of hardwoods', Crawford House Press, Bathurst, Australia.

Standards Australia, 2000, 'AS 2082-2000: Timber - hardwood - visually stress-graded for structural purposes', Standards Australia.

Last updated 21 July 2010