Rubber wood industry is an allied industry to Natural rubber industry which is developing in India. After the economic life of a plantation, the rubber trees are cut and used as a raw material for the rubber wood industry. Use of rubber wood is promoted as it is a renewable source of timber and its use reduces the dependence on forest wood and thereby denudation of our forests. Both eco-friendly and cost effective, rubber wood is ideal for furniture, flooring, ceiling, paneling and interiors.
Processing of rubber wood involves preservative treatment and seasoning. Once seasoned, strength and durability of the wood improves and matches any other hardwood like oak and teak.
Treated rubber wood possess advantages like
- Excellent stability
- Excellent machining properties
- Good strength properties
- Light color; easy to finish in any color
- Good glaring properties
- Attractive grain structure
- Up to 40% cheaper than other hardwoods
Parameters rating of rubber wood taking teak as 100
|Weight or heaviness||-||93|
|Strength as a beam||-||62|
|Stiffness as a beam||-||77|
|Suitability as a post||-||52|
|Shock resisting ability||-||75|
Apart from the lower costs (30 to 40% lower than teak wood) rubber wood gives better color and finish. Its light color and uniform structure allows for easy staining to any desired wood color. Though it has the benefits of hard wood it also has the convenience and workability of soft wood. In short, rubber wood is strong, durable and elegant as any other hard wood
The working characteristics of rubber wood are comparable to soft woods. Its smooth texture and uniform grain structure make it easy to work on. Operations like sawing, cross cutting, machining etc. are smoother and easier for rubber wood. The ease of workmanship is further enhanced with better nail and screw holding properties and efficient gluing characteristics.
Rubber wood is used after chemical treatment. This is executed with borax boric acid, which acts as a highly effective agent against attack of insects and fungi. The treatment is done by steam impregnation in sealed chambers followed by kiln deying. The moisture content of the treated wood is from 8-12% only.