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Pine, Caribbean

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Caribbean pine is a softwood widely used for construction, flooring, playground furniture and cladding. Other applications include the production of plywood, wood wool and paper products. The timber is also widely used for engineering purposes, such as power poles and piles. It is the second most widely planted species in Queensland, and is also planted in northern New South Wales, and is readily available in those states; it is also imported from Fiji.

The heartwood of Caribbean pine is yellow to golden brown, and its sapwood is usually noticeably paler. Its texture is rather coarse and uneven, with latewood and earlywood forming uneven bands, and the grain is usually straight. Knots are present in construction grades. There is a marked difference in colour between earlywood and latewood, which results in a pronounced figure when back sawn. It has a strong resin content and odour, and the resin can lead to problems when the timber is glued and sawn. 

Caribbean pine has a low degree of durability above and below ground, and although the sapwood can be treated with preservatives, the heartwood will not readily take preservatives. The timber is termite resistant and the sapwood is not prone to lyctid attack. 

Appearance

The sapwood of Caribbean pine is pale and the heartwood is yellow to golden brown. The grain is usually straight, though knots are present in construction grades, and the texture is somewhat coarse and uneven. A pronounced difference in colour between earlywood and latewood results in a very distinctive figure when back sawn.

Common Applications

Caribbean pine is widely used for engineering purposes, such as power poles and piles; construction purposes such as flooring, framing, laminated beams, cladding and decking, and playground equipment; and for decorative purposes including furniture, plywood, turnery and joinery. It is also used in the production of paper products and wood wool.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

Caribbean pine is rated 5 to 4 on a 6 class scale - soft to firm - for indentation and facility of working with hand tools. When the timber is being dressed sharp planer blades are required to avoid compression of the softer earlywood and the ridged surfaces that result. Resin can be problem when sawing. Nails may at times follow the growth rings from deflection by latewood bands; good results can be obtained with nail guns. The timber glues satisfactorily, but absorbs glue differently depending on whether it is early- or latewood, though this mostly doesn't cause problems. It can be painted, stained and polished easily, though care has to be taken to avoid timber with high resin content.

Readily Available

VIC

Availability - Further Information

Caribbean pine is readily available as sawn timber in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Availability - Further Information

Plantation

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

5.00%

Radial:

2.00%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.34%

Unit Movement Radial:

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

575kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1020kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

69

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

105

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

12

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

14

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

33

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

55

Impact - Unseasoned:

27

Impact - Seasoned:

17

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

2.7

Hardness - Seasoned:

5.1

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Not Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Group Number - Other:

3 if used on MDF or particleboard ≥12mm; veneer thickness 0.6-0.85mm

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 - All AS 3959 Required Applications

Decking

Download the WoodSolutions Technical Design Guide on Domestic Timber Decking here.

Timber decks are a practical and attractive addition to any outdoor landscape. Natural timber decks blend seamlessly with their surrounding environment and will serve as popular entertaining areas all year long.

As an external structure, carrying large loads of traffic, timber decking has high structural performance requirements. In addition decks are usually raised clear off the ground and fully exposed to the weather meaning an effective deck must be able to cope with wear and tear from repeated use and in addition discharge rainwater efficiently. Roundin the corners (easing the arris) of the decking will help run off water while spacing for ventilation between the decking boards will prevent water ponding on the deck surface. 

Timber decking is available in both seasoned and unseasoned wood, in a wide range of species, sizes and grades. The natural appeal and strength of timber makes it a practical choice for outdoor decking. This guide provides an overview of best practice methods for specifying, installing and finishing a timber deck.

Cladding, External

No other cladding material can offer the design freedom, ease of handling, range and natural beauty of timber. Timber cladding can create a building to suit almost any environment, taste or style.

Timber cladding has an inbuilt flexibility that provides natural advantages on sites subject to high winds, extreme climate, highly reactive soils, subsidence or earth tremors. And unlike masonry and other rigid materials, the natural resilience and high strength to weight ratio of timber enables it to withstand far greater stresses and movement.

Modern finishes give a long lasting and attractive appearance to timber cladding and can be used to change the colour and style of the building, making it a versatile material that will keep pace with changing tastes and fashions.

 

Structural Timber Poles

Timber pole construction is typically utilised to provide support for gravity loads and resistance against lateral forces. The natural appeal of timber ensures that its role is not purely structural however, with timber poles complimenting architectural designs aimed at harmonisation with the natural environment. The small number of footings required in pole frame construction also ensures minimal disturbances to the site.

With a double bearer system, poles can be spaced further apart than is usual, creating a more spacious building interior, that allows greater interior design flexibility. While poles are usually placed in a grid like system this is not compulsory and the flexibility of the application means the system can cope with a wide variety of designs, enabling designers to take full advantage of beautiful outlooks.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the process involved in specifying, designing and constructing a solid timber pole construction.

Framing

Lightweight timber construction typically comprises framed and braced structures to which one or more types of cladding are applied. Framing configurations can range from the closely spaced light timbers commonly seen in stud frame construction to large, more widely spaced timbers. A timber framed building can be placed on a concrete slab or on posts/poles or bearers resting on piers/stumps supported on pad footings.

Used in houses or multi-residential dwellings, lightweight timber construction offers the flexibility of a wide range of cost effective design options.

When the timber comes from sustainable sources, this construction method can be environmentally advantageous as it combines timber's low embodied energy with its capacity to store carbon.

Flooring

Whether for structural or finished flooring applications, timber offers durability, versatility and adaptability. The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring has proved enduringly popular in a wide variety of interior settings.

Timber flooring is a timeless product, offering a warmth and natural beauty largely unmatched by other flooring options. This article provides an overview of the installation of solid timber strip flooring over bearers and joists, timber based sheet flooring products and concrete slabs. Timber flooring is typically supplied as either solid timber or laminated wood products, made from layers of bonded timber. It fits together with a tongue and groove joint and once in place, is sanded and finished. There is a wide variety of species to select flooring from and the right species for a given application will be dependent on numerous factors. Information relating to species selection, environmental assessment, finish selection and recommended maintenance routines are all provided in this section.

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