Suitability of Paulownia Wood from Malaysia for Furniture Application

Hazirah Ab Latib, Lim Choon Liat, Jegatheswaran Ratnasingam, E. L. Law, Amir Affan Abdul Azim, Monahar Mariapan, J. Natkuncaran


Imported wood resources, especially yellow poplar and Chinese poplar, are increasingly evident in the Malaysian furniture sector due to declining supply of domestic wood materials. In order to reverse this trend, paulownia, a fast-growing forest plantation tree species, is emerging as an alternative wood material source. This study evaluated the mechanical strength, including fatigue life, machining, adhesive bond, screw withdrawal, and finishing properties of paulownia against the imported wood of yellow poplar and Chinese poplar. The results revealed that paulownia has better properties than Chinese poplar, but it is inferior to yellow poplar due to its lower density. In terms of fatigue strength, all the wood species performed comparably equal, with the allowable design stress set at 40% of the wood species’ respective ultimate bending strength. Against these findings, paulownia is a promising alternative wood resource for furniture manufacturing in Malaysia, and it could possibly replace the imported yellow poplar and Chinese poplar. Nevertheless, the successful application of paulownia for furniture manufacturing will depend on its supply volume and economics in the future.


Paulownia; Fatigue life; Allowable design stress; Strength; Machining; Finishing; Furniture; Wood

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126