BAMBOO REINFORCED CONCRETE
Bamboo has been used as a construction material in certain area for
centuries. A study of bamboo is used as a reinforcement in precast concrete
elements was carried out in U.S Army Engineer Waterway experiment station in 1964.
Bamboo was given recent consideration for use as reinforcement in soil cement
pavement slabs in which the slabs behave inelastically even under light loads.
Bamboo is giant grass not a tree.
The density of fibres in cross-section of a bamboo shell varies with thickness as
well as height.
The strength of bamboo is greater than most of the timber products.
Bamboo is more prone to insect attack than other trees and grasses.
Bamboo can prevent pollution.
SELECTION AND PREPARATION OF BAMBOO
Use only bamboo showing a pronounced brown color. This will insure that the plant is
at least three years old.
Select the longest large diameter culms available.
Do not use whole culms of green, unseasoned bamboo.
Avoid bamboo cut in spring or early summer. These culms are generally weaker due to
increased fiber moisture content.
Concrete Mix Proportions
The same mix designs can be used as would normally be used with steel
reinforced concrete. Concrete slump should be as low as workability will allow.
Excess water causes swelling of the bamboo. High early-strength cement is preferred
to minimize cracks caused by swelling of bamboo when seasoned bamboo cannot be
The environmental and financial comparison demonstrates that
bamboo can compete with building material. Bamboo is a natural product and will
therefore always have some extent of irregularity. It is therefore suggested that the
bamboo culm should be used in functions were the measurement requirements are not
entirely precise or fixed, as in temporary buildings (e.g., pavilions and tents) or
small civil projects. Furthermore, bamboo can play a role as a non-supporting or
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BAMBOO REINFORCED CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
U. S. NAVAL CIVIL ENGINEERING LABAORATORY
Port Hueneme, California
Francis E. Brink and Paul J. Rush
This report has been prepared to assist field personnel in the design and construction of bamboo reinforced concrete. The information in this report has been compiled from reports of test programs by various researchers and represents current opinion.
Comments on the selection and preparation of bamboo for reinforcing are given. Construction principles for bamboo reinforced concrete are discussed. Design procedures and charts for bamboo reinforced concrete are given and conversion methods from steel reinforced concrete design are shown. Six design examples are presented.
EDITOR'S NOTES - DECEMBER 2000
NOTE: This document was originally a publication of the U.S. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. We have placed this document on the web because of its historical interest to those interested in the topic of alternative methods of concrete construction. These notes were added after this document was entered into a modern word processor and are not part of the original document.
DISCLAIMER: This document was scanned and retyped from a hard copy of the original that was about 35 years old. No effort has been made to verify the correctness of information or calculations contained herein, and the reader takes all responsibility when applying this information in his or her work. It is possible there is more recent research and studies that supercede the material contained in this study. Use this information at your own risk. No one at romanconcrete.com or its associates takes any responsibility as to the fitness of this material for use in actual construction. This study is being shared for research use only.
CHANGES: The only changes to the original document, besides these notes and the formatting changes available in a modern word processor, (besides potential mistakes in typing) are purely formatting and include the addition of a table of contents, numbering of sections, a list of tables and figures, and the change from table I in the original document to table II in this document. Please report all mistakes in this document to:
RECOGNITION: Recognition is given to Rear Admiral Jack E. Buffington, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, United States Navy, Retired, for his encouragement in placing this unusual article on bamboo concrete construction on the internet. It identifies the potential for an alternative light construction method at low cost for areas where steel reinforcement might be prohibitive. In this case, bamboo might replace steel in light construction as the tensile element in concrete design. This report highlights the technical expertise that exists in the Navy's Civil Engineering Corps and the personnel at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, California in particular. Their willingness to share such creative information with the world is truly creditable and appreciated.