Pine, Radiata | Pinus radiata

Radiata pine is a softwood whose availability and ease of use make it popular for all kinds of construction and decorative uses.

Other Names: Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine

Overview

Radiata pine is native to the central coast of California but is widely planted in Australia and New Zealand. It makes up 28% of Tasmania’s timber plantations and is popular in all types of construction and decorative uses. These include framing, lining, glue laminated beams, veneer and plywood. It can be used for many exposed structural and non-structural applications if it is treated with the right preservatives.

The texture of radiata pine is fine, but uneven, and knots are common. The timber is fairly soft and has a low density, often with very wide annual growth rings. The sapwood is white to pale yellow, but often indistinguishable from the heartwood, which is light brown to yellow. The grain is usually straight, apart from a central core of 100mm, which can twist if the moisture content of the timber changes.

Radiata pine is easy to work, apart from the knots, and it readily accepts preservatives. Timber that is high in resin can be hard to glue and the resin may mar painted and stained exteriors. It does not cause staining of alkaloid surfaces such as fibre-cement and concrete.  

Radiata pine is not resistant to termites. It can be preservative treated to increase its durability.

Properties

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High
Tangential:          
5.1
Radial: 3 - 4
Unit Movement: 0.27 %

Strength Group

Very High High Reasonably High Medium High Medium Reasonably Low Low Very Low
Unseasoned:S1S2S3S4S5S6S7
Seasoned:SD1SD2SD3SD4SD5SD6SD7SD8

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

Unseasoned: 800 kg/m3
Seasoned: 550 kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High High Reasonably High Medium Low Very Low
Unseasoned:J1J2J3J4J5J6
Seasoned:JD1JD2JD3JD4JD5JD6

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: 42
Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned: 81
Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned: 8.1
Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned: 10
Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned: 19
Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned: 42
Impact - Unseasoned: 12
Impact - Seasoned: 6.9
Toughness - Unseasoned: Medium - 15 - 25 Nm
Toughness - Seasoned: Low - up to 15 Nm
Hardness - Unseasoned: 2.1
Hardness - Seasoned: 3.3

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: Not Susceptible
Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other: Like all softwoods, Radiata Pine is not susceptible to lyctid borer.
Termite Resistance: Not 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:
Critical Radiance Flux - Lower: >2.2 and <4.5; same for ply ≥17mm kW/m2
Critical Radiance Flux - Higher: >2.2 and <4.5; same for ply ≥17mm kW/m2
Smoke Development Rate: <750; the same for ply ≥17mm
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible
Fire Properties Group
Number:
Group Number - Other: 3 (same for plywood ≥6mm)
Average Specific Extinction Area: <250
Bushfire Resistance: BAL 12.5 and 19 - All AS 3959 Required Applications

Description

Botanical Name: Pinus radiata
Preferred Common Name: Pine, Radiata
Other Names: Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine
Species Type: Softwood

Appearance

Radiata pine's sapwood is white to pale yellow, but often indistinguishable from the heartwood, which is light brown to yellow. The grain is usually straight, apart from a central core of 100mm, which can twist if the moisture content of the timber changes. The texture of radiata pine is fine, but uneven, and knots are common. The timber is fairly soft and has a low density, often with very wide annual growth rings.

Common Applications

Radiata pine plantations are set to become the main source of timber in Australia. Radiata pine can be used in a wide range of applications, including as a domestic and commercial structural timber, flooring, lining, furniture, panels (such as veneer, plywood, particleboard, fibreboard), corestock, brushware, turnery, toys, poles, posts, sleepers, mining timbers (treated), landscaping, pulp and paper.

 

 

Common Form

Sawn, Veneer

Workability

Radiata pine is easy to work except for the knots, and it nails satisfactorily. Apart from the core, it is easy to dry, and because it dries quickly, it is usually kiln dried directly from being green. During the warmer months it is very susceptible to bluestain. 

There can be problems with timber that is high in resin content: it can be hard to glue, and knots, resin streaks and latewood can emit enough resin to mar exterior coatings. Timber that is high in resin should be used for structural purposes only. 

It is not suitable for steam bending as it is hard to obtain a smooth curve. It readily accepts preservatives, which provide protection to Hazard level 6 (the highest level).

Radiata pine can be prone to surface checking when exposed uncoated to the weather or when coated only with stain-type finishes, which are less protective against moisture penetration.

Origin of Timber

VIC, SA, NZ, Africa, North America

Origin of Timber - Other

USA (California), Mexico, Extensive in NZ, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Spain

Readily Available

NSW, VIC, SA, TAS, QLD, WA, NZ

Availability - Further Information

Because of the large areas being planted with this species in Australia and NZ, radiata pine is destined to be the major general purpose timber in Australia.

Source of Timber

Plantation

Applications

  • Architectural Roof Trusses

    Architectural timber roof trusses create strong visual impact. Often used as part of ‘cathedral ceiling’ systems, timber can be specified light or heavy to suit the chosen theme and style. On finish, they can be left natural or may be oiled, stained, painted or highly decorated. Choice is limited only by individual style and design preferences.

  • Doors

    Timber is one of the most popular and superior material choices for both internal and external doors. Whether manufactured from solid or engineered timber, there are many stylish and practical options that won't compromise on strength and structural performance. A distinctive timber door can also create visual impact, adding value to any commercial or domestic building.

  • 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.

  • Framing

    Since people began building simple shelters, wooden framing has played an important role in shaping structures of many kinds. One of the most popular types of wooden framing is known as lightweight timber construction.

  • Interior Rails and Balustrades

    With its natural beauty and inherent strength, timber is a popular material choice in internal balustrade construction. Commonly built from treated softwoods and durable hardwoods, interior balustrades and handrails are typically finished with a clear lacquer to generate the most natural result.

  • Interior Stairs

    Timber should be the material of choice for designers seeking internal staircases of strength, beauty and durability. The construction procedure described here applies to most general type stairs of either conventional or contemporary construction.

  • Internal Paneling

    Timber paneling creates interiors as warm as they are stylish. Commonly using an MDF or plywood substrate, internal timber paneling is natural and versatile and comes as either solid natural timber panels or as sheets of engineered wood products

  • Timber Joinery Products

    Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior design.

  • Timber Mouldings

    Mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the icing on the cake for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.

Case Studies

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