Teak

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Teak's heartwood is typically golden brown in colour, although grey and red tinges are not uncommon. The sapwood, a pale yellow colour, is clearly distinct. Grain is usually straight, but due to teak's high degree of ring porosity, longitudinal streaks and an uneven texture, ranging from coarse to smooth, are typical. The freshly cut wood can be variable in colour, with blotches and streaks, but prolonged exposure to light ameliorates the more extreme variations. Teak contains an oleoresin which gives the timber a greasy feel, and imparts a distinctive odour to freshly cut material.


Teak is a firm timber, in general easily worked. However, the timber's relatively high silica content causes severe blunting of cutting edges. For this reason, the use of tungsten-carbide blades is recommended. Teak holds nails and screws well, although pre-boring is recommended when nailing. Gluing sometimes presents difficulties because of the oily nature of the wood, and it is important to bond only freshly dressed surfaces. Teak will readily accept paints and stains. It also varnishes, polishes and waxes well. It is not suitable for steam bending. Sanding dust irritates the skin of some users.

Teak is well known for its above ground durability, with a life expectancy of greater than 40 years. In-ground life expectancy ranges from 15 to 25 years. Teak exhibits a good resistance to acids, and will not corrode metal fixings. Teak is termite-resistant, although untreated sapwood is susceptible to borer attack.

Teak is extensively used in boatbuilding for decking, rails, bulwarks, hatches, weather doors, and planking. It is also used for cooperage, pipes, and chemical vats. In general construction it is suitable for flooring, decking, framing, cladding, fascias and barge boards. Decorative uses of teak include indoor and outdoor furniture, parquetry, turnery, carving, lining and paneling.

Teak occurs naturally in the monsoon forests of India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Teak plantations have been established in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Africa, Solomon Islands, Fiji and the West Indies.

 

Appearance

The heartwood of teak is typically golden brown in colour, although grey and red tinges are not uncommon. The sapwood, a pale yellow, is visually distinct. Due to teak's high degree of ring porosity, longitudinal streaks and an uneven grain texture, ranging from coarse to smooth, are commonly present.

 

Common Applications

Perhaps best known for its use in boat building, teak has been extensively used for decking, rails, bulwarks, hatches, weather doors, and planking. It is also used for cooperage, pipes, and chemical vats. In general construction it is suitable for flooring, decking, framing, cladding, fascias and barge boards. Decorative uses of teak include indoor and outdoor furniture, parquetry, turnery, carving, lining and paneling.

 

 

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

Teak is usually relatively easy to work but silica can be present and this will necessitate frequent sharpening of tools. It peels easily and nails satisfactorily but gluing sometimes presents difficulties because of the oily nature of the wood. It is important to have freshly dressed surfaces. Good resistance to acids. Not corrosive to metal fixings. Unsuitable for steam bending because of excessive buckling. Sanding dust is irritating to the skin for some people. White inclusions of calcium oxalate sometimes appear as flecks in the vessels, lowering the value of veneer thus affected.

 

Origin of Timber

NT

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

Teak is becoming scarce.

Availability - Further Information

Plantation

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

1.90%

Radial:

1.00%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.19%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.10%

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:

680kg/m3

Unseasoned:

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:

80

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

101

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

9.4

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

10.7

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

41

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

58

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4.1

Hardness - Seasoned:

4.4

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:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EFH Ignitibility:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

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 AS3959 required applications

Portal Frames

Timber portal frames are one of the most favoured structural applications for commercial and industrial buildings whose functions necessitate long spans and open interiors. As a material choice, timber offers designers simplicity, speed and economy in fabrication and erection.

Timber portal frames offer a strong, sound and superior structure. Structural action is achieved through rigid connections between column and rafter at the knees, and between the individual rafter members at the ridge. These rigid joints are generally constructed using nailed plywood gussets and on occasion, with steel gussets.

From material selection to finishing, this application guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process of using timber in the specification, fabrication and erection of portal frame structures.

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