The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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A low-technology approach toward fabrication of Laminated Bamboo Lumber

TitleA low-technology approach toward fabrication of Laminated Bamboo Lumber
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMahdavi M., Clouston PL, Arwade SR
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Start Page257
Date Published04/12
KeywordsBamboo, Building material, Composite, Fabrication, Lumber, Mechanical properties, Strength, Sustainable material

Depletion of natural resources has become a major concern in today’s modern industrialized world centering much attention on sustainability of the built environment and sustainable alternatives to current development and construction practices. In the green building community, strong interest lies in natural and renewable building materials that can be used in structural applications. Just such a natural and renewable building material, called Laminated Bamboo Lumber (LBL), has recently been developed. This product, however, typically requires sophisticated fabrication equipment and energy intensive pressing processes that generally limit the possibility of local product fabrication. In an effort to foster local and thus more sustainable production of the product, this paper proposes a simple, practical and low-technology approach for LBL fabrication that could be carried out in any part of the world in which bamboo currently grows. Twelve 4-ply LBL specimens were fabricated using the proposed approach and the mechanical properties of the resulting LBL indicate that the end product is mechanically suitable for use in structural applications. The key contribution of this paper, therefore, is the conclusion that structurally reliable LBL can be fabricated using hand tools, screw-driven mechanical presses, and widely available, economical adhesives.