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Stèphane
21 / 09 / 2016

How does

Bamboo Composite made?

Bamboo is a renewable raw material that in recent years has become one of the main alternatives to tropical hardwood. When you see bamboo floors, kitchen cabinets or cutting boards, you may have wondered how round hollow bamboo stems are processed into solid bamboo panels?

First of all, it is important to know that solid bamboo panels can be divided into two main groups; 'laminated bambooand 'composite bamboo(or a combination of both). Semi-finished products similar to OSB, MDF, chipboard, plywood, wicker mat board etc. can also be made from bamboo fibres or bamboo chips, but panels composed of bamboo strips (laminate) or bamboo strands (composite) are by far the most widely used in Europe. The previous blog explained how the regular panel material is made. In this blog you can see how composite is made.

diameter of bamboo stem
How is Bamboo Composite made? 12

With composite bamboo, the same steps apply as with laminated bamboo except that the strips are not glued horizontally or vertically. Instead, raw bamboo strands are used that are compressed under very high pressure to create a new "composite" material.

bamboo composite
How is Bamboo Composite made? 13

The density of bamboo composite planks increases significantly compared to laminated bamboo (from 700 kg/m3 to more than 1200 kg/m3). This also makes bamboo composite much harder than laminated bamboo with a Janka hardness of 2800 lbf instead of 1380 lbf.

The appearance of bamboo composite is completely different from that of laminated bamboo. Bamboo composite looks more like wood with its flamed structure and the bamboo knots have become almost invisible.

Step 1. From strips to strands

After boiling or caramelising the bamboo strips as described in steps 5-6, the strips are broken in this special machine to form rough fibrous strands.

Step 2. Impregnating bamboo strands

Just before pressing, the bamboo strands are impregnated with glue.

bamboo composite press
Impregnation

Step 3. Press

The bamboo strands are then placed in a huge press and pressed into panels at a pressure of 2500 tonnes.

bamboo composite planks sawn
Saw
raw bamboo composite panels
Presses

Step 4. Sawing

Bamboo composite panels are available up to a maximum thickness of 20 mm. Because they would otherwise be too heavy, the 30-40 mm thick panels are sawn into narrower planks of 10-30 cm width. These in turn can be processed into, for example, bamboo flooring, decking or wall cladding.

Are you also interested in working with bamboo panels? Then order today your bamboo panels in our webshop!

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