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BAMBOO REINFORCED
CONCRETE
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INTRODUCTION
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.
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BAMBOO CHARACTERISTICS
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.

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SELECTION AND PREPARATION
OF BAMBOO
SELECTION
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.
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VARIOUS SPECIES OF BAMBOO
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PREPARATION
Sizing

Splitting

Seasoning

Bending

Waterproof Coating
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CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLES

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 waterproofed.


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Placement of bamboo

Bamboo reinforcement should not be placed
less than 1 inches from the face of the
concrete surface.
The clear spacing between bamboo rods or
splints should not be less than the maximum
size aggregate plus inch.
Reinforcement should be evenly spaced and
lashed together on short sticks placed at right
angles to the main reinforcement.
The ties can be maid with vegetation strips.
This embedded depth is approximately 10 times
the diameter of whole culms or 25 times the
thickness of inch wide splints.
Spacing of the stirrups should not exceed 6
inches.

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DESIGN PRINCIPLES


Bamboo reinforced concrete design is
similar to steel reinforcing design. Bamboo
reinforcement can be assumed to have the
following mechanical properties.

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Mechanical properties of bamboo reinforcement
Mechanical Property Symbol Value (psi)Value (psi)
Ultimate compressive strength --- 8,000
Allowable compressive stress s 4,000
Ultimate tensile strength --- 18,000
Allowable tensile stress s 4,000
Allowable bond stress u 50
Modulus of elasticity E 2.5x10
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When design handbooks are available for
steel reinforced concrete, the equations
and design procedures can be used to
design bamboo reinforced concrete if the
above mechanical properties are
substituted for the reinforcement.

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BEAMS AND GIRDERS
Bamboo longitudinal reinforcement
should be between 3 and 4 percent of the
concrete cross section.It have the same
bending moment resistance coefficient as a
balanced steel reinforced beam, singly
reinforced. Economy of concrete increases
going to the left on the curve; therefore,
deeper, narrower replacement beams are
recommended. A minimum number of rods
should be used to provide adequate spacing.
The bamboo stirrup area should always be
about 4 times the steel stirrup area.
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Example
Design of Bamboo Reinforced Beam:
Design a bamboo reinforced concrete beam to span
2.43m and to carry a uniform dead load plus live
load of 450 KN/m and two concentrated loads of
108 KN each symmetrically located 0.6m each side
of the center line of span. Assume the ultimate
strength of the concrete is 240KN/m2; the
allowable compression stress is 108 KN/m2
Allowable unit diagonal tension stress,V , in the
concrete is 72 KN/m2. Allowable tension stress, s,
in the bamboo is 400 KN/m2; the allowable unit
bond stress between bamboo and concrete is 40
KN/m2.
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Solution

1. At the intersection of the allowable stress curves for concrete and
bamboo, find R = 115 and p = 3.1 percent.

2. Maximum bending moment, M, is given by:
M = [450(2.43)2(12)]/2.43 + 108(0.6)(12) =13899.6 KN m.
R = M/bd2

3. From
bd2 = 13899.6/115 = 120.86 m3

4. If b = 2.43m. is chosen, then d = (120.86(10)/2.43) = 7.05mm.

5. Bamboo reinforcement = pbd = 0.031(2.43)(7.05) = 4.75

6. Use -inch-thick splints, area = 0.563 m2.
Number required = 4.75/0.563 = 8.4; round up to 9. Space evenly
in three rows. Bend up top row randomly in the outer one-third
ends of the beam.

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7. Check the bond stress. Maximum shear at the support, V, is
determined as:
V = 450(2.43)/2 + 108 = 860 KN/m2.
The perimeter of one splint is 4(3/4) or 3 m.; the total perimeter
of the longitudinal reinforcement, 0, is 9(3) = 27 m. The value
of j = 0.925
u = V ojd = 654.7 27(0.925)(7.06) = 13 KN/m2
This is less than the allowable bond stress of 40 KN/m2.
8. Calculate the shear, V', taken by the concrete from
V' = bjd = 72(2.4)(0.925)(4.75) = 759.2 KN/m2
Where is the allowable diagonal tension stress of the concrete.
9. Provide 0.4 mm thick splints for stirrups. The area provided by
one stirrup bent into a U-shape, A, is 4(0.4) = 1.6 mm2 (Stirrup
area 4 times the dia). Maximum spacing, s, is given by:
s = Ajd (V - V') = 1.6(400)(0.925)(4.75) (860 759.2) =
10.1mm.

Common practice is to include two additional stirrups
past the point where diagonal tension reinforcement is not
needed.

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COLUMNS
Bamboo reinforcement in columns serves to resist
a compression load equal to that taken by the
concrete it displaces; it also will resist shear and
tensile stresses. Of the full cross section of concrete,
only 80 percent is considered effective in rectangular
tied, columns. Allowable concrete stress should not
exceed 0.225 f'c where f'c is the ultimate
compressive strength of the concrete.
Vertical reinforcement should be approximately 4
percent of the column cross section for rectangular
columns. When bamboo is used as lateral tie
reinforcement, the ties should be spaced not over 16
times the least dimension of the vertical
reinforcement nor farther apart than the least
dimension of the column.

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Example
Design of Bamboo Reinforced ConcreteColumn:
Determine the cross section and bamboo
reinforcement of a column required to carry an
axial load of 700 KN. Ultimate compression
strength of the concrete, 240.KN/m2
Solution:
1. For an unreinforced rectangular column the safe
axial load, P, is given by:
P = 0.8Ac (0.225 f'c)
Where Ac is the cross-sectional area of the
concrete column and f'c is the ultimate
compressive strength of concrete.
2. The column should have a cross-sectional area of:
Ac = 700 0.8 (0.225) (240)(10) 3 = 16.20 m2.
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3. If a square column is chosen, it will have face
dimensions of
b = (16.20) = 4.0 m


4. The amount of vertical reinforcement should be 4
percent of the concrete area .These should be spaced
evenly around the perimeter of 1 to 1 mm of cover.
Provide each vertical splint with a 90-degree corner.

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COMPARISON OF BAMBOO AND
STEEL
The strength of bamboo is greater than
steel.
Bamboo is easily accessible.
Bamboo lowers the cost of construction.
Increases the strength of the buildings .
Bamboo can crack and deflect more than
steel reinforcement.
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Other Applications Of Bamboo
Bamboo bridge in the Amsterdam Woods
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Bamboo theatre during the Festival of Vision, Berlin, 2000
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Bamboo scaffolding at the top of a new high-rise building in Hong kong
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CONCLUSION

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 finishing
material.
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