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Kempas

Kempas (Koompassia malaccensis)

Kempas is an imported hardwood

Location

Kempas (Koompassia malaccensis) is distributed throughout the lowland forest in rather swampy areas of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Characteristics

When exposed to air, the freshly cut brick-red heartwood darkens to an orange-red or red-brown with numerous yellow- brown streaks as a result of the soft tissue (axial parenchyma) associated with the pores. The texture is rather coarse, and the grain is typically interlocked. Kempas is a hard, heavy wood (density of air-dried wood is 880 kg/m3 (55 lb/ft3)); the wood is difficult to work with hand and machine tools. The wood dries well, with some tendency to warp and check. The heartwood is resistant to attack by decay fungi but vulnerable to termite activity. However, it treats readily with preservative retention as high as 320 kg/m3 (20 lb/ft3).

Primary Uses

Kempas is ideal for heavy construction work, railroad crossties, and flooring.
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