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Ambalau – A Natural Resource for the Production of Wood Varnish

Varnish is a substance that is abundantly used in the wood industry, especially for wood protection and decoration. In Indonesia, the application of varnish for wood protection is essential in the furniture and other woodcraft industry. Due to the increasing threat of earthquakes, wood has become the ideal material for construction as well as wood furniture. Awkwardly, wood is vulnerable to environmental factors just like other biological materials. Therefore, Surface treatment of wood with proper substances and impregnation has been recommended among the effective methods to decrease the negative effect of weathering on wood.

The application of varnish is the most common method for shielding wood against natural weathering. Therefore, research work on varnish production and advancement in the wood industry is very applicable to support human life. Varnish can be produced from both synthetic and natural resins. The utilization of synthetic resin derived from fossils is considered as the main material for commercial wood varnish.

According to Egbewatt et al. (2014), researchers made numerous efforts to replace fossil resources due to their limited availability and the adverse effects on the environment and humans. So, the utilization of natural resin has become an alternative solution that offers energy and a variety of chemicals suitable for the synthesis of many materials.

 The major source to obtain natural varnish is the bark of trees. The bark is a residue from a wood process without prior appropriate application. Available literature indicated that the bark of some tree species is rich in resin which can be extracted and used as raw material in the manufacture of varnishes. In Asian countries, Durio zibethinus is the most common tree species that are known as durian.

Durio zibethinus Murr. is an important periodic plant with a very large prevalence. Natives of Indonesia have recognized that Durian bark has been producing a resin called ‘Ambalau’ that might have the potential to be developed as the raw material for varnish production.

Rini et al. (2021) presented a reach that was published in the Asian Journal of Plant Sciences to explore the properties of varnished from Ambalau resin and compared to the commercial ones.The presented findings indicted that varnish with significant qualities can be produced from the natural Ambalau resin obtained from the bark of Durio zibethinus Murr. The researchers claimed that basic data obtained from their study can be utilized to explore the Ambalau resin as an alternative solution of chemical  that will be suitable for the production of beneficial products.

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