The Standard Malaysian Name for the heavy, yellow to brown timbers of the genus Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae). Vernacular names applied include balau (Peninsular Malaysia) with various epithets, selangan batu No. 1 (Sabah), and selangan batu (Sabah and Sarawak). Major species include S. atrinervosa, S. foxworthyi, S. glauca, S. laevis, S. materialis, S. maxwelliana, S. submontana and S. sumatrana. Balau are very common throughout Malaysia and being large hardwoods growing within a range of 30 to 60 metres high. The timber is a Heavy Hardwood with a density of 850-1,155 kg/m3 air dry.


The timber is dense but contains little silica and is therefore relatively easy to work although some adjustment to saws and machine knives may be required on long runs if a good surface finish is required. The timber of all species are very similar with the heartwood yellow brown, reddish brown and sometimes purplish brown and will darken with age. The sapwood is lighter in colour and is sharply defined from the heartwood, which is yellow or grey-brown and darkens to deep brown on exposure. The texture is fine to medium and even with the grain wavy and interlocked. Shrinkage rates are medium to low and all species are considered to be lyctid borer susceptible.

Balau has been widely used for all forms of heavy construction, marine construction, ship and boat building (keels, keelsons and framework), piling, beams, columns (heavy duty), bridges, wharves, cooling tower (structural member), railway sleepers, vehicle bodies (framework and floor boards), boat building, plywood, joinery, cabinet making, mallets, fender supports, door and window frames, staircase (carriage, newel and stringer), pallets (heavy and permanent type), tool handles (impact), telegraphic and power transmission posts and cross arms, posts, joists, rafters, flooring (heavy traffic), decking and heavy duty furniture.

Balau Wood

Balau Wood

Balau Wood

Application Details:

Marine Builder Outdoor Decking Door Frame Lorry body

Common Sizes