Journal #29

Journal #29

2019

Mechanical properties of bamboo: a research synthesis of strength values and the factors influencing them
Lorena Sanchez Vivas, Gray Mullins, Jeffrey A. Cunningham and James R. Mihelcic
J. Amer. Bamboo Soc. 29: 1-22; 7 October 2019

Abstract: Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, used in many countries as a viable building construction material. It is not yet widely used in the U.S. or other western countries however, partly because it is not yet included in building codes or safety standards. To develop these, the mechanical properties of bamboo must be fully understood and documented. Studies have been published by many different researchers, but they have not yet been aggregated or compared. From this literature 43 publications (in English, Portuguese, and Spanish) presenting mechanical properties for bamboos were selected and analyzed. Five mechanical properties were reviewed: shear strength, compressive strength, tensile strength, modulus of rupture (MOR), and modulus of elasticity (MOE). Properties were found to have a wide range, so major variables were investigated: age, bamboo species, density, moisture content, post-harvest treatment, and the testing standards employed. The findings suggest no consistent correlations exist between mechanical property values reported and these variables, although substantial variation was attributable to species, moisture content, and the test standard used, and we present overall average values. We propose that for practical purposes the inherently high variability in mechanical properties of bamboo suggested by this analysis can be accounted for by the use of appropriately high safety factors, but further research is clearly required.

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