Common Name(s): Ramin
Scientific Name: Gonystylus spp.
Distribution: Southeast Asia
Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 41 lbs/ft3 (655 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .66
Janka Hardness: 1,210 lbf (5,400 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 18,180 lbf/in2 (120.9 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,255,000 lbf/in2 (15.55 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 9,580 lbf/in2 (66.0 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 8.9%, Volumetric: 13.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.9
Color/Appearance: Tends to be a almost white to pale yellow, sometimes grayish. Sapwood and heartwood not differentiated. Prone to spalting and blue fungal staining (as in the case of the pictured sample).
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight or slightly interlocked, and usually without any notable figure or character. Texture is medium to fine, with a low surface luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium-large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood mineral/gum deposits (amber-colored) occasionally present; growth rings usually indistinct; rays may be faintly visible without lens; parenchyma aliform (winged).
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, and also susceptible to insect attacks.
Workability: Overall good working characteristics with both hand and machine tools. However, Ramin does have a tendency to splinter during cross-cutting operations. Glues, turns, and finishes well.
Odor: Has a strongly unpleasant scent while green, which mostly subsides once fully seasoned.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Ramin has been reported to cause eye and skin irritation, as well as other side effects such as asthma-like symptoms and increased tendency for splinters to get infected. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Ramin has been over-exploited in the past, and is now listed on CITES Appendix II as an endangered species (this includes the entire Gonystylus genus). Although a strong and useful wood, many suitable domestic alternatives are much more readily available. Trade of Ramin is likely to remain restricted to its natural range within southeast Asia.
Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix II, and is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, veneer, plywood, flooring, utility lumber, dowels, tool handles, and other turned objects.
Comments: Ramin has good working properties and outstanding strength-to-weight characteristics.