Damar or Resin is one of non-timber forest products, which is a polysacarida compound produced by certain types of forest trees.
Damar batu or resin stone is fossilized resin. This resin is obtained from the soil. Stone resin experiences a natural hardening process. In general damar batu has a slightly yellowish color, there are also stone resin that is brown, white, and even golden. The texture of resin stone itself is much tougher than copal and resin of cat’s eye. Damar Batu is obtained from trees of the species dipterocarpaceae.
Damar Batu is Indonesia’s export commodity that has a large forest area and a large number of damar trees. Mostly used for industrial raw materials in several countries in the world. Damar plants can be utilized in every part such as latex and wood. These are some of the uses of resin that we have summarized.
Resin Tree Characteristics
The damar tree (Agathis dammara) grows in most parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia. An old resin tree can reach a size large enough with a height of 65 meters and a diameter of 1.5 meters. The rod is cylindrical and straight upward with gray skin and reddish-brown.
Damar leaves have an oval shape with a length of 6-8 cm and a width of 2-3 cm. Bones are parallel and many leaves, male and female flowers are in different bunches in the same tree (single house).
Unfortunately, in the last 75 years, the population of resin trees has decreased by 30%. That is why damar trees are included in the red list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Redlist) including them in vulnerable species.
Damar trees are generally cultivated in plantations and are found in the highlands of Indonesia. The price of damar also varies depending on the type of the kopal. That’s all a brief review about damar that you might want to know. Damar is a potential commodity from Southeast Asian countries, specifically Indonesia and Philippines. There are many benefits can be taken from this plants.
Damar Batu Uses
1. Materials for paint and varnish
In the development of modern industry, Damar batu is used as a raw material of paint and varnish. Varnish can maintain the durability of wood material. Besides, varnish can also avoid wood from disturbing termites. Then Damar is also used as a polishing material that can make wood materials have cool and shiny colors.
2. Boat making materials
You might be surprised to know that resin stone is the material for making boats. A mixture of resin, carosine, and glass fiber will create a material that is very strong but lightweight. This will make a high-quality boat.
In the research world, resin solutions in chloroform are used to preserve dead animals and plants. And also, the preserved plants will be used as home decorations or handicrafts.
4. Perfume ingredients
Damar contains a substance called styrax benzoin as a raw material for vegetable oil perfume. Besides, styrax sytrax is a fumigant disinfectant which is very good for killing bacteria and viruses that cause infection.
5. Fuel the lamp
In Indonesian culture, Damar Batu is used as fuel for lights. We are talking about traditional lights that look like torches with mini sizes. Damar batu is considered to be more durable than kerosene.