Messmate

Messmate is a well-known Australian hardwood with timber varying in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach.

Other Names

Messmate Stringybark, Brown-top Stringybark, Australian Oak, Tasmanian Oak, Victorian Messmate

Botanical Name

Eucalpytus obliqua

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

Messmate is a hardwood native to Tasmania and Victoria and the tablelands of New South Wales and southern Queensland. It has been known to grow to 90 metres tall, with a trunk up to three metres in diameter.
A well-known Australian hardwood that is in high demand for a wide variety of applications, messmate is often sold with mountain ash as Tasmanian oak. It varies in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. The sapwood is pale yellow to pale brown, with light brown heartwood. A species rich and warm in detail, it has an even, moderately coarse texture. The sometimes interlocking, straight grains feature beautifully defined rings. Gum veins are quite common. Messmate timber has moderate hardness and strength, but low durability. It splits easily and is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. It is relatively easy to work, glue and it bends well. It will readily accept stains, paints and polishes but can be difficult to impregnate with preservatives.
Messmate is mostly used for pulp production and general construction and manufacture, especially framing above ground (when protected), internal flooring, paneling, plywood, protected external use, internal joinery and furniture.

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

11.30%

Radial :

5.10%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.36%

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

S8

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:

770kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1090kg/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:

71

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

118

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

12

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

15

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

37

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

64

Impact - Unseasoned:

15

Impact - Seasoned:

16

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

5.3

Hardness - Seasoned:

7.3

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

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

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

>2.2 and <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 and 19 – All AS3959 required applications
Appearance

Messmate varies in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. It is a species rich in detail with an even texture and beautifully defined growth rings. Gum veins are common.

Common Applications

Mainly used for pulp production and general construction and manufacture, messmate can be employed for framing above ground (when protected), internal flooring, panelling, plywood, protected external use, internal joinery and furniture.

Workability

With moderate hardness and strength but low durability messmate works, glues and bends easily. It readily accepts stains, paints and polishes but can be difficult to impregnate with preservatives.

Origin of timber
NSW
Readily Available
NSW
Messmate is common in Tasmania, Victoria, southern Queensland and the tableland district of NSW.
Source of timber
Plantation
Image

Joinery

Timber joinery offers a classic, stylish touch to any interior or exterior space.
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Fencing

When it comes to fencing, timber is a natural choice. A material that is durable, strong and reliable it compliments almost every outdoor landscape and environment. Clear specification, detailed installation and appropriate maintenance will ensure a timber fence provides a natural and lasting property boundary and back drop for years to come.
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Flooring

The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring is enduringly popular in a wide variety of domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

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