Turpentine

Turpentine is an extremely hard and durable Australian native hardwood timber. It is suitable for a wide range of construction and engineering applications.

Other Names

Luster, Red Luster, Syncarpia Laurifolia

Botanical Name

Syncarpia Glomulifera

Common Form
Sawn
Species Type

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.

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

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:

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
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.

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
Turpentine is a common species in New South Wales and southern Queensland.
Source of timber
Native Forest
Image

Decking

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Fencing

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Structural Timber Poles

Timber poles are utilised in structural construction to provide support for gravity loads and resistance against lateral forces. Not only serving a structural function, timber poles provide many aesthetic benefits, with their use in construction often complementing architectural designs aimed at harmonisation with the natural environment.
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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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