Manila Copal: The Hard and Shiny Resin of Almaciga

The almaciga resin is almost the same as amber. They almost have the same hardness and shiny properties. The source tree can also be found here in Philippines. Can be gathered by tapping the tree trunk or digging the soil where almasiga was previously planted.

Amber is one of the most expensive wood resin – sounds the color of amber glass. This resin become very hard and shiny when dried and can be used for jewelry.

When dried, the almaciga resin looks like a yellow crystal. Popular in the name of Manila Copal. Its main application is for manufacture of paint and wood varnish. [jessica soho]

The term copal applies to a group of resin which are hard and have high melting point. They are soluble in alcohol.

The almaciga was called Manila Copal cause Philippines became one of the main exporter. Other copal in the world are Congo from Zaire, West African, East African, South American and East Indian

To make the varnish, almaciga resin is finely ground and dissolved in 95% ethyl alcohol. The solution is filtered, followed by the addition of lumbang oil. The mixture is then heated to a temperature of about 70-80oC with continuous stirring. The varnish produced is comparable with the common nitrocellulose lacquer. [dost-fprdi]

The picture below was part of Forest and Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FPRDI-DOST) training on Almaciga Resin Tapping and Almaciga Resin Varnish Processing on April 26-28, 2011 in the municipality of Governor Generoso.

tapping of almaciga tree

http://www.govgen.gov.ph

Related posts:

  1. Pili Nut Tree: The Source of Manila Elemi Oil

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