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Turpentine

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Turpentine is a large tree species occurring along the eastern coast of Australia from Bateman's Bay in New South Wales to Cooktown in North Queensland.

The true wood of this species ranges in colour from deep red to red-brown. Sapwood is distinctively paler, often creamy. The texture of Turpentine timber is fine to medium but often wavy, with interlocked grain. It is relatively free of gum veins.

Turpentine is extremely durable in above ground applications, where its life expectancy is in excess of 40 years. In-ground life expectancy ranges from 15 to 25 years. The timber of this species is termite-resistant, and untreated sapwood is immune to lyctid borer attack.

Turpentine is the main Australian species for marine pilings, as its high silica content makes it resistant to Teredinidae marine borers. Other engineering applications include wharf and bridge construction (as both sawn and round timber), railway sleepers, and mining timbers. Construction applications include general house framing, flooring and decking, lining and cladding. Turpentine is an excellent timber for dance floors. It is also used in the construction of plywood, laminated beams and bench tops, and for joinery and parquetry. Other applications include boatbuilding (knees, gunwales, planking, decking) and the production of oyster stakes, wine casks, mallets, and bearings.

Untreated timber of this species is equivalent to 'fire retardant treated timber' when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 3837. The bushfire rating of this species is expected to remain unchanged if assessed in accordance with proposed changes to the standard.

Appearance

The true wood of this species ranges in colour from deep red to red-brown. Turpentine sapwood is distinctively paler, often cream in colour. The texture of this timber is fine to medium but often wavy, with interlocked grain. Turpentine is free from gum veins.

Common Applications

Turpentine is the main Australian species for marine pilings, as its high silica content makes it resistant to Teredinidae marine borers. Other engineering applications include wharf and bridge construction (where turpentine is used as sawn and round timber), railway sleepers, and mining timbers. Construction uses range from general house framing, flooring and decking, to lining and cladding. Turpentine is also used in the construction of plywood, laminated beams and bench tops, joinery and parquetry. Other uses include boatbuilding (knees, gunwales, planking, decking) and the production of oyster stakes, wine casks, mallets, and bearings.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

Turpentine is a very hard timber (rated 1 on a 6-class scale) in relation to indentation and its ability to be worked by hand. Due to the presence of silica in the wood, Turpentine can be abrasive to machine cutters. It readily accepts paint, stains and polish, and is amenable to the use of standard fastenings and fittings. Extractives make this timber relatively difficult to glue. 

Origin of Timber

NSW

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

Turpentine is a common species in New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

13.00%

Radial:

6.50%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.35%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.23%

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:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Seasoned:

F27

F22

F17

F14

F11

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

945kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1170kg/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:

79

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

136

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

12

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

15

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

43

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

79

Impact - Unseasoned:

15

Impact - Seasoned:

10

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

6.7

Hardness - Seasoned:

11.6

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

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

≥4.5

Smoke Development Rate:

<750
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5, 19 and 29 – All AS3959 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.

Fencing

The inherent appeal and strength of timber makes it the obvious choice for fencing. Timber fencing not only provides a natural look in keeping with the outdoor environment but it also enables the construction of a long lasting, durable property boundary. Fences come in many forms including the traditional paling, picket, post and railing styles. Most rely on a structural frame of posts embedded into the ground and two or more rails spanning between the posts. The ultimate selection of a suitable fence type or style is determined by application and aesthetics. A fence can serve a variety of purposes, including the provision of security, privacy and safety in addition to defining property boundaries. Specification for durability is important, especially for posts, given their exposure to high moisture in the ground.

This section provides an overview to best practice methods in specifying, installing and finishing a timber fence.

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.

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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