Topics: Bamboo, Wood, Elastic modulus Pages: 46 (13121 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Chapter 2
Literature Review


2.1.1 Introduction
Bamboo is one of the oldest building materials used by mankind [7]. The bamboo culm, or stem, has been made into an extended diversity of products ranging from domestic household products to industrial applications. Examples of bamboo products are food containers, skewers, chopsticks, handicrafts, toys, furniture, flooring, pulp and paper, boats, charcoal, musical instruments and weapons. In Asia, bamboo is quite common for bridges, scaffolding and housing, but it is usually a temporary exterior structural material. In many overly populated regions of the tropics, certain bamboos supply the one suitable material that is sufficiently cheap and plentiful to meet the extensive need for economical housing [17]. Bamboo shoots are an important source of food, and a delicacy in Asia. In addition to its more common applications, bamboo has other uses [30], from skyscraper scaffolding and phonograph needles to slide rules, skins of airplanes, and diesel fuels. Extractives from various parts of the plant have been used for hair and skin ointment, medicine for asthma, eyewash, potions for lovers and poison for rivals. Bamboo ashes are used to polish jewels and manufacture electrical batteries. It has been used in bicycles, dirigibles, windmills, scales, retaining walls, ropes, cables and filament in the first light bulb. Indeed, bamboo has many applications beyond imagination. Its uses are broad and plentiful.


With the advancement of science and technology and the tight supply of timber, new methods are needed for the processing of bamboo to make it more durable and more usable in terms of building materials. Studies have been done on the basic properties [3-7], and processing bamboo into various kinds of composite products [9-15]. More studies are needed to aid and promote its application in the modern world.

Some information on the basic properties of Calcutta bamboo were documented, however its properties particularly in relation to their applications as the raw material for composite products is very limited. Calcutta bamboo is exploited in such a way that its full potential is not being used. This research is needed to determine those potentials and promote Calcutta bamboo as an alternative to the commonly used raw materials.

2.1.2 Taxonomy, Resources and Habitat
Bamboo is a perennial, giant, woody grass belonging to the group angiosperms [18] and the order monocotyledon [7]. The grass family Poaceae (or Gramineae) can be divided into one small subfamily, Centothecoideae, and five large subfamilies, Arundinoideae, Pooideae, Chloridodeae, Panicoideae, and Bambusoideae. In distinction to its name, bamboos are classified under the subfamily Bambusoideae [18, 19]. Wang and Shen [20] stated that there are about 60 to 70 genera and over 1,200 – 1,500 species of bamboo in the world. About half of these species grow in Asia, most of them within the Indo-Burmese region, which is also considered to be their area of origin [22]. Some examples of


bamboo genera are Bambusa, Chusquea, Dendrocalamus, Phyllostachys, Gigantochloa and Schizostachyum. Table 1A of Appendix A, shows other genera, species, and some English names adapted from the common names of bamboo. Most of the bamboos need a warm climate, abundant moisture, and productive soil, though some do grow in reasonably cold weather (below –20oC)[20]. According to Grosser and Liese [22], bamboos grow particularly well in the tropics and subtropics, but some taxa also thrive in the temperate climate of Japan, China, Chile and the USA. Lee et al. [14] stated that the smaller bamboo species are mostly found in high elevations or temperate latitudes, and the larger ones are abundant in the tropic and subtropic areas. Bamboo is quite adaptable. Some bamboo species from one country have been introduced to other countries. The most popular and valuable bamboo species in Asia, Phyllostachys pubescenes or the...
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