Could Bamboo Replace Steel in Reinforced Concrete?

Steel has had a foothold on the construction industry for roughly 100 years, because it’s high in strength and aids in the tensile strength of concrete.  But is it the best material for reinforcing concrete?  Swiss architect Dirk Hebel doesn’t think so.

Instead of steel, Hebel is working hard to put bamboo on the forefront of building materials. It’s not just any old bamboo you can pull straight out of the forest though, it’s BambooTECH or bamboo composite material, which combines natural bamboo fibers with 10% organic resin.  The combination of the resin and fibers allow the bamboo to be molded into any shape and then sawn or sanded.

The specs on bamboo are actually pretty impressive: it has twice the strength of steel (400MPa vs. 820 MPa) and is roughly 5 times lighter.  It’s also a fast growing, sustainable resource that does not require re-planting after harvest, unlike timber.

Tests are currently being conducted on bamboo reinforced concrete in Singapore and Hebel told De Zeen Magazine that the tests have shown promising results so far.

Full story: Bamboo fibre is stronger and cheaper than steel, says Dirk Hebel | De Zeen Magazine

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