Radiata pine, formerly referred to as Monterey pine or insignis pine, is a large softwood native to a very limited area of the west coast of North America but planted widely in the world's south temperate zone, especially in South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Australia. In Western Australia, major plantations have been established in the south-west on fertile soil and in rainfall areas greater than 700 mm, but preferably south of Perth because further north the thin bark makes the species susceptible to sunscald.
Heartwood is pale yellow-brown, and sapwood pale yellow-white. The texture is fine, with the grain usually straight except for the central core of juvenile wood that often has pronounced spiral grain in the first few years.
Green density is the density of wood in the living tree, defined as green mass divided by green volume, and useful for estimating transport costs. It varies with season and growing conditions.
Air-dry density is the average mass divided by volume at 12 per cent moisture content (this is the average environmental condition in the coastal capital cities around Australia).
Basic density is oven-dry mass divided by green volume. This measure has the advantage that moisture content variations in the tree during the year are avoided.:
Green density is about 1000 kg/m3, and air-dry density about 590 kg/m3 in 30-40 year old and about 480 kg/m3 in 10-20 year old trees. Basic density is about 490 kg/m3 in 30-40 year old and about 405 kg/m3 in 10-20 year old trees.
Tangential and radial shrinkage before reconditioning are 5.1 and 3.4 per cent respectively, and after reconditioning 5.0 and 3.5 per cent respectively.
The wood is relatively easy to work, but knots and resin pockets are common.
The CSIRO Durability Classes are based on the performance in ground of outer heartwood when exposed to fungal and termite attack.
|1||More than 25|
|2||15 to 25|
|3||8 to 15|
|4||Less than 8|
The ratings are not relevant to above-ground use. In late 1996, CSIRO published revised ratings, which include termite susceptibility. Ratings are now available for about seventy species for decay, and for decay plus termites.:
Durability Classes based on the CSIRO 1996 ratings are 4 for decay, and 4 for decay + termites.
Minimum values (MPa) for strength groups for green and seasoned timber come from Australian Standard AS2878-1986 'Timber - Classification of strength groups'. In grading structural timber, each species is allocated a ranking for green timber of S1 (strongest) to S7, and for seasoned timber SD1 (strongest) to SD8.
MOR is modulus of rupture or bending strength, MOE is modulus of elasticity or 'stiffness', and MCS is maximum crushing strength or compression strength. Hardness refers to the Janka hardness test and is a measure of resistance to indentation.
Minimum values (Mpa) for green timber
Minimum values (Mpa) for green timber
Where test data were available, they are shown in bold print. Most values are from Bootle (1983), Wood in Australia. Types, properties and uses. (McGraw-Hill), or Julius (1906), 'Western Australian timber tests 1906: The physical characteristics of the woods of Western Australia'.
Where no strength data were available, air-dry density was used in accordance with the Australian Standard AS2878-1986 Timber - Classification of strength groups to predict the strength group. Consequently, the strength values quoted are from the above two tables.:
Green and dry strength groups are S6 and SD6 respectively. The more important strength properties are given in the table below.
|Modulus of Rupture||MPa||42||81|
|Modulus of Elasticity||MPa||8100||10000|
|Max Crushing Strength||MPa||19||42|
The timber is readily available in Western Australia and the eastern States.
Uses are for general construction, house framing,
moulding architraves, doors, shelves, joinery and turnery, decorative
panelling, furniture, construction
veneer as a facing for particleboard, pulp and paper and reconstituted products e.g. particleboard and medium density fibreboard (MDF). If preservative treated, radiata pine can be used for posts, poles, sleepers, retaining walls, decking, cooling towers and mining timber.