How to Select and Prepare Bamboo for Concrete Reinforcement?

The selection and preparation of bamboo as a reinforcement in ordinary portland cement concrete is explained in this article as per the study conducted by Clemson Agricultural College. Lets discuss the important points regarding the same and further studies is very much necessary to get complete confidence for practical implementation.

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Selection of Bamboo for Concrete Reinforcement

The following factors are considered while selecting bamboo culms for their use as reinforcement in concrete structures:

  1. The bamboo culm or the whole plant selected must have a pronounced brown color. This color shows that the plant is atleast three years old.
  2. Always choose the bamboo culm with larger length and diameter.
  3. Never use whole culms that are green and unseasoned.
  4. Do not cut the bamboo during spring or summer seasons. During this seasons, the culms get weaker due to increased fiber moisture content.

How to Prepare Bamboo as Concrete Reinforcement?

The basic steps involved for the preparation of bamboo for using it as concrete reinforcement are:
  1. Sizing
  2. Seasoning
  3. Bending
  4. Waterproof Coatings

Sizing of Bamboos

When it comes to reinforcement, split culms are more desirable compared to whole culms. These split culms are called as splints. Larger culms have to be split into splints with approximate width of three-forth inch. Whole culms that is less than 3/4 inch in diameter can be used without splitting.
The bamboo can be split using a sharp knife and then pulling a dulled blade through the culm. It is desirable to use a dull blade instead of cutting as dull blade splits the bamboo to form continuous fibers and nearly a straight section. 

Seasoning of Bamboos 

The bamboo intended for reinforcement purpose must be cut and allowed to dry and seasoned for three to four weeks before using it. Support the culm at regular spacing to reduce warping.   

Bending of Bamboo

Bamboo can be permanently bent when under hear either in its dry or wet condition. This is done by applying pressure. This is done to form splits into C shaped stirrups and for putting hooks on reinforcement for additional anchorage.

Waterproof Coatings

After seasoning the bamboo, it must be subjected to waterproof coating. This reduce swelling when it comes in contact with concrete. A brush coat or dip coat of asphalt emulsion is preferable. Other types of coatings are tar, paint, dilute varnish, water-glass and native latex. 

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