Bamboo extraction fiber improved to exploit waste
Bamboo-guadua residue usually goes to waste or used as boiler fire material could now be used for finishings or architectural products according to a new fiber extraction technique.Bogotá D. C., 25 de agosto de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
A group of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers is currently working on research with these products with the purpose of looking for an additional source of income for people who work with guadua as building material. The project is based on using guadua splinters, shavings and sawdust which is approximately 50% of the residual product.
Traditionally only the first layer of bamboo is used. A cane of guadua can reach up to 20 or 25 meters long (65 to 83 ft.) but on average only half is used because after that length the width of the walls makes it mechanically impossible to use as a structural material.
Civil Engineering doctoral candidate Patricia Luna Tamayo, who has worked in extraction processes to obtain better benefits from guadua is currently working on a method which would make guadua fiber more functional.
The method includes a chemical process and a process similar to a sugarcane crushing mill to extract sugarcane juice.
“We are still assessing the temperature variable after resin drying,” said Luna, who along with Engineer Jenny Pira is performing pilot tests.
The chemical process is necessary to “soften” the guadua and consists of immersing previously cut rectangular pieces of guadua into sodium hydroxide.
A part of the research project concluded that with plastic additives these fibers are versatile to manufacture floors, door frames, windows and furniture, among other products.
Although there are more than 1,400 species of bamboo, Angustifolia kunth, known as Colombian guadua is one of the most resistant types of bamboo in the world.
While sugarcane bagasse has a resistance of approximately 290 megapascals, mechanical tests have proved that Angustifolia guadua can have up to 800 megapascals. According to tests carried out by Luna, a guadua fiber (diameter between 1 mm and 1.5 mm) is capable of withstanding a weight of up to five kilos.
Numerous research projects carried since 1980 have demonstrated it has great mechanical properties in its natural state and used for building seismic resistant structures. Furthermore prior research has demonstrated it structural viability in laminated form. Guadua sheets are glued together and used to build different types of structural elements.
However the industry does not seem to be aware of the possibilities of using this waste because they are always burned.
Given the relevance of the topic several universities including UNal and institutions such as the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, the firm Arme and the Colombian Bamboo Society will host the IV International Symposium on Bamboo and Guadua at the Universidad Javeriana this coming 28th, 29th and 30th of September. The purpose of the event is to analyze topics regarding the product such as engineering and architecture, ecology, preservation and regulations, among others.
www.redsibguadua.org has detailed information on the symposium and the Bamboo and Guadua Research Network.(Por: Fin/HEVC/MLA/APBL