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Birch, White

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White birch is a medium-sized hardwood native to parts of Europe, northern Asia, the Arctic and North America. In Europe it is known as Betula pubescens, while in Japan it is known as Betula maximowicziana.

The timber is pale in appearance with the heartwood ranging from a cream to pale brown, while the Japanese species tends to be more of a yellowish red colour. The sapwood is off-white and may not be well demarcated from the heartwood. The grain of White birch can be straight or interlocked with a fine, uniform texture.

White birch is easy to work and glues and finishes well. It is used mainly for the manufacture of plywood and as furniture. Other applications include shelving, cases, coffin boards, turnery, match splints and toys.

In Australia, white birch is mainly seen as plywood or imported furniture and is available in limited quantities.

 

Appearance

White birch yields a pale-coloured timber. The heartwood ranges from a cream to pale brown, while the Japanese species tends to be more of a yellowish red colour. The sapwood is off-white and may not be well demarcated from the heartwood. The grain of white birch can be straight or interlocked with a fine, uniform texture. 

Common Applications

Applications include shelving, cases, coffin boards, turnery, match splints and toys.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

White birch is easy to work and glues and finishes well.

 

Origin of Timber

Asia

Availability - Further Information

In Australia, White Birch is mainly seen as plywood or imported furniture and is available in limited quantities.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

4.10%

Radial:

2.60%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.27%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.17%

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:

F11

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

660kg/m3

Unseasoned:

980kg/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:

59

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

132

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

12

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

16

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

22

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

52

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

3.2

Hardness - Seasoned:

5.3

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:

Not 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-

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

Not Tested

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