TTJ - Jonathan Dowd

Published Tuesday 13th August 2013
TTJ – Tropical Wood Feature

In a Tropical Timber Focus, Timber Trades Journal explored the market potential for lesser known tropical timber species as well as further processed and engineered Tropical timber products. Our Product Director, John Dowd comments on such product developments within International Timber with the introduction of two new Malaysian species: lightweight, stable acacia for joinery timber and nemesu, for joinery and cladding.

Have you introduced any new tropical species or further processed products into your range recently?

Acacia – (Acacia Magnium & auriculiformis)

Nemesu – (Shorea pauciflora)

Laminated Sapele – (Entandrophragma cylindricum)

What are these products, where are they from, what are their performance characteristics and potential applications?

Acacia – Source is West Malaysia. Due to its light weight, this material is ideal for joinery applications where weight & structural integrity is more important than aesthetic appearance such as door cores, exterior furniture and furniture frames. Performance characteristics are stability (it has less density than shorea species).

Nemesu – Source is West Malaysia. Used in conjunction with and alongside Majau as colour is uniform, density is approx. 710 kgs/m3 but can vary +/- 20%. Can be used for Cladding with appropriate treatment and Joinery (internal & external) applications.

Laminated Sapele – (Cameroon & Republic of Congo) Applications are based on improved yield utilisation & improved quality for door & window manufacturers. This product helps our customers improve efficiency and reduce waste therefore having a positive impact on their profitability.

What is the driver for introducing such products - ie environmental considerations, market requirement for new and different looking product, availability issues with other better-known species?

New product introduction at International Timber is driven by customer demand and/or new technology that introduce new benefits to the customer. Environmental considerations are always top priority for International Timber, we will not trade in areas or products that do not meet with our own strict Saint-Gobain requirements & EUTR legislation.

What is the market reaction to such species and products - do they require a lot of marketing and market education?

We are a customer driven organisation, new products and species are at the heart of what we do. All new product proposals are researched extensively with existing and potential customers and are launched to fulfil specific market need. Launches are backed with comprehensive technical marketing materials to help educate the market on the uses of the new materials.

Do you see further potential for such products and species in the future?

In order to offer the broadest range of timber and panel products in the industry we constantly review our range, we back this with expert technical support in all our products classes, to help the customer make the best use of the material for their application. There is clearly significant future potential for innovation with the tropical hardwood sector.