Janka hardness evaluation of plantation-grown Eucalyptus nitens for engineered flooring applications
Millaniyage, K and Kotlarewski, N and Wallis, L and Taoum, A and Nolan, G, Janka hardness evaluation of plantation-grown Eucalyptus nitens for engineered flooring applications, Buildings, 12, (1) Article 1862. ISSN 2075-5309 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Hardness is commonly used to determine the suitability of a timber species for flooring
applications. In this study, Janka hardness test is conducted on sawlog managed Eucalyptus nitens and regrowth forest Eucalyptus obliqua sourced from Tasmania, Australia. Plantation E. nitens timber is currently entering the Australian market and the feasibility of using this fast grown species in value added applications such as timber flooring is advantageous. Further to testing Janka hardness on solid timber samples, a regime of engineered timber flooring prototypes consisting of plantation E. nitens top layers, veneers and solid densified E. nitens boards were developed and subjected to Janka hardness test. The results were compared against solid E. obliqua flooring and a commercially available engineered flooring product with Tasmanian Oak top layer. The results showed that Janka hardness of plantation grown E. nitens, and E. obliqua currently available in the market are lower than the values published in the literature. This indicates that the material properties of fast grown plantation timber and regrowth forest material are different to the native forest timber properties published decades earlier. Furthermore, some of the tested engineered flooring prototypes showed similar behaviour to timber flooring products currently in market, suggesting that E. nitens engineered flooring would be suitable for domestic/light commercial flooring applications despite the general conception of unsuitability due to lower densities.
Janka hardness, timber flooring, engineered flooring, E. nitens, E. obliqua, prototypes