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Bamboo: A poor man’s timber
2015 - IRG/WP 15-10852
Bamboo, known as poor man’s timber in the past gained some importance in the last decade when TIFAC under Department of Science & Technology and Ministry of Agriculture awoke to find a better future for this unique gift of nature. Until then it was considered a good for nothing grass suitable only for making paper and building effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath year after year at Dussehra festival. Bamboos played a vital role in rural and tribal areas, where modern materials like bricks, steel, and cement were not available/(affordable). No wonder Late Dr. A. Purushotham accepted the Challenge and undertook pioneering research on treatment of bamboo for improving its durability and enhancing fire resistance to enable poor villagers and tribes residing in remote areas build durable hutments. He erected several structures using bamboo and mud during 1950s, some of which are surviving even today without much maintenance. These results were highlighted during several presentations in seminars/ workshops organized under Indra Awaas Yojna of the Govt. of India but found no response despite the fact that this was the only available technology which could fit into the budget of this mass housing scheme in rural and tribal areas. Today we find bamboo in its new Avtaar. The credit for this goes to National Mission for Bamboo Applications (NMBA) under TIFAC. NMBA made good initial efforts to promote preservative treatment of Bamboo by providing soft loans/grant-in-aid to several bamboo processors around the country. The initial enthusiasm however proved to an air bubble and focus changed to high end products with the change in top profile of NMBA. Many building products like Medium Density Fiber boards, Flooring tiles, Bamboo ply, Corrugated roofing sheets (to name a few) have been developed. Whereas properly treated solid or split bamboo has no equal, bamboo composites have yet to establish there reliability for durability and integrity. In a country, where wood based composites are faring so badly, it will be doubtful if bamboo based composites costing more than their wood based counterparts would perform any better. Our Architects and Engineers have little exposure to wood/bamboo as a building material in their academic pursuit. We really do not have any Timber Engineer in the country and even research in Timber Engineering in FRI is limping. Nevertheless a number of elegant structures coming up around the country prove high versatility of bamboo as a material. Will they match the elegance of our poor bamboo hut smiling in FRI Wood Preservation Plant premises? Certainly not! If bamboo composites become a hit, there will be a bamboo shortage hiking its price so that no bamboo will be available at economical costs to even bamboo handicraft units taking away employment of many poor bamboo processors in small scale and tiny sectors. To upgrade bamboo to meet potential of higher end use, we must ensure supply by raising more plantations.
S Kumar


Manual of a mini treating plant for waterborne preservative treatment of timber and bamboo
1999 - IRG/WP 99-40130
This contributional article includes machinaries and equipments necessary for a small wood treating plant for the pressure treatment of tim bers with waterborne preservatives along with the cost and design. The preservative treatment limitations, treatment schedules and specifications for different products have been described. The cost of a mini treating plant will be 6,00,000 Tk. (13,000 US$), suitable for preserving timber and bamboo products for indoor and outdoor uses and will out last teak wood. The additional durability of timber and bamboo will create economically and environmentally safe conditions.
A K Lahiry


A medium for mass culturing of a bamboo boring beetle Dinoderus minutus Fabricius
1983 - IRG/WP 1182
The bamboo is a traditional product of Japan. But its susceptibility to insects is one of the most important problems. The author has found that for the determination of the effectiveness of insecticides it is very easy to obtain sufficiently numerous adults of Dinoderus minutus by using Buckwheat Cake. The Buckwheat Cake is prepared with buckwheat flour and thin paper. The author has previously found that Buckwheat Cake is suitable for the culturing of Lyctus brunneus and these results were presented in 1981. In culturing Dinoderus minutus, Buckwheat Cake has been found to be also easier and fasting in bringing forth the adults than natural bamboo.
K Suzuki


Treatment of fresh green round bamboos culms (Dendrocalamus strictus) by sap-displacement (wick) method
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40311
Sap displacement method has great potential for treating short length bamboos as it does not require any technical equipment. The process is simple and large nos. of bamboos can be simultaneously treated in relatively short period. There is no wastage of chemicals as the remnant solution reused. Bottom ends and middle portion had better treatment in compared to lop end portion. With increasing length of the flow of preservatives is impaired. The method culms can conveniently 3m length.
R Lal, C N Vani


Biofouling and bioresistance of bamboo in marine environment
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10482
Proudly known as “green gold” and popularly called as “poor man’s timber”, bamboo is closely interwoven with the life of scores of people around the globe because of its versatile qualities and desirable strength properties as a structural material. It is used for innumerable purposes both on land and in water including seas and brackishwater bodies. "Presently, bamboos constitute an important raw material, and are vital to the economy of many countries" (John et al, 1995). In the words of Hanke (1990), "it is difficult to exaggerate the importance of bamboo as a structural raw material for most of human kind". "The 500-plus species are scattered throughout the warmer parts of the world, but the family achieves greatest abundance and most impressive luxuriance around the southern and southeastern edge of Asia, from the Indian monsoon region through China and Japan to Korea". Annually, about 4.56 million tons of bamboo from 30 genera comprising of 136 species is exploited in India alone (Anonymous, 1989). A vast quantity of it is used in the marine sector as fishing rods, sail masts, stakenet poles, mariculture cages and poles, fishing screens, fishing net supports, fish traps, fish baskets, floats for nets, floating rafts, floating fenders, floating platforms, etc., right from conventional capture fisheries to the most modern mariculture operations (Purushotham, 1963, Suri and Chauhan, 1984 and Santhakumaran and Sawant, 1993). Use of 30 lakh culms of bamboo per year for strikingly large screens of up to 10 Km and several other devices was reported by Satyanarayana Rao et al (1992) from Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh, India, where brackishwater conditions prevail during certain seasons/in certain pockets. Similarly, bamboo cages of varying dimensions from 4 x 4 x 5 m to 50 x 5 x 5 m are reported to be employed for open ocean culture of fishes in Kampuchea, Indonesia and Thailand (Nayak, 2001). In all these utilities, bamboo is mostly used in untreated form. Yet, precise data on biofouling and bioresistance of different species of bamboo under marine conditions are not available except for isolated reports like that of Santhakumaran and Sawant (1993). Therefore, studies in this direction were taken up. Initially three widely used commercial Indian species of bamboo were tested and their performance is presented in this paper.
M V Rao, M Balaji, V Kuppusamy, K S Rao


Penetration analysis of two common bamboo species - borak and jawa of Bangladesh
2002 - IRG/WP 02-40247
Preservative treatment of two bamboo species, namely borak (Bambusa balcooa Roxb.) and jawa (Bambusa salarkhanii Alam) was carried out with chromated copper boron (CCB) preservative by dipping method. The variation in preservative penetration between the two different species was determined. It was found that preservative penetrates into borak quicker than into jawa and easier into air-dried bamboo than into green one.
M O Hannan, A K Lahiry, N M Islam


Accelerated fixation of CCA in borak bamboo (Bambusa balcooa Roxb.) of Bangladesh
2001 - IRG/WP 01-40193
CCA-C fixation study on impregnated (6% CCA solution), then boiled, oven-dried, normal, air-dried and steamed bamboo slices of air-dried borak bamboo (Bambusa balocca Roxb) of Bangladesh, revealed almost complete fixation in steamed (accelerated fixation) and air-dried (3 weeks, slow fixation) bamboo slices compared to moderate to slow fixation in boiled, oven-dried, normal and 24h air-dried slices.
A K Lahiry


An effective preservative treatment of borak bamboo (Bambusa balcoona Roxb.)
1996 - IRG/WP 96-40070
Adequate penetration and retention of CCA and CCB has been obtained in predried Borak Bamboo (Bambusa balcooa Roxb.), aboundantly grown in Bangladesh, with Full Cell Pressure Process. The treated bamboo can be used as building materials, the sufficient treatability ensured its long term best utilization at ground contact and indoors. Which will keep the environmental & socio economical conditions of Bangladesh more viable and normal.
A K Lahiry, S Begum, G N M Ilias, M A Matin Sheikh, M A B Fakir, M I Hossain


Heat treatment of bamboo
2001 - IRG/WP 01-40216
Bamboo is a fast growing material with remarkable mechanical properties. In many tropical and subtropical countries bamboo is available in suitable dimensions for a reasonable price. Therefore it is used for many purposes which range from the basket production up to the industrial production of parquet or paper. However, bamboo is known as susceptible to fungal or insect attack and it is difficult to treat with preservatives. Therefore BFH investigated the possibility to protect bamboo by other methods and tested the application of a heat treatment. European grown bamboo (Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens) and Asian grown bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) were heat treated and were subsequently inoculated with the basidiomycetes Coniophora puteana, Coriolus versicolor and Schizophyllum commune in an agar block test. Further the durability of treated specimens against soft rot fungi was tested. The changes of the mechanical properties (MOE and shock resistance) caused by the heat treatment were determined too. The application of temperatures above 200°C caused a clearly enhanced durability against a basidiomycete as well as against a soft rot attack but the shock resistance was intensely reduced. Further investigations are still ongoing. The study has been carried out with financial support from the Commission of the European Communities, specific INCO programme INCO-DC 961344.
H Leithoff, R-D Peek


Effect of felling time related to lunar calendar on the durability of wood and bamboo -Fungal degradation during above ground exposure test for 2 years- (Preliminary report)
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20311
Current study was carried out to know whether the felling time of trees and bamboos based on lunar calendar affects natural durability of felled wood-bamboo or not. Each of one sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) tree of 28 years old and one Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla) of around 3 years old was cut 12 times between February and December in 2003. Six sets of sugi tree and bamboo were felled in a day during “Hassen” period and the other 6 sets of them were also felled in a nearby non-“Hassen” day. There is a belief that “Hassen” should be avoided to perform destructive works such as cutting trees. “Hassen” lasting 12 days based on lunar calendar appears 6 times every year. After felling sample trees and bamboos, these specimens were subject to outdoor exposure at above ground level for 2 years. Properties of specimens such as moisture contents, mould and fungal resistance were examined periodically for 2 years. There was no clear difference in the degree of mould growth on the surface between specimens felled in a “Hassen” day and those felled in a non-“Hassen” day in the same month. The felling seasons, however, influenced the growth of mould on the surface of wood and bamboo clearly, which has been traditionally known in many cases. Fungal degradation evaluated by visual observation and the depth of pin penetration using Pilodyn during 2 years exposure was not affected by not only “Hassen” or non-“Hassen” also seasons when tree and bamboo felled.
K Yamamoto, S Uesugi, K Kawakami


The use of image analysis to quantify soft rot decay
1992 - IRG/WP 92-2410
Image analysis techniques can provide quantitative information from visual images. As part of a wider interest in decay assessment methods we have investigated the application of image analysis techniques for quantifying soft rot decay by Chaetomium globosum in transverse sections of birch wood and bamboo. A method for reducing contamination of the section (and image) by the fungal hyphae and of staining prior to image analysis was developed. Decay cavities could be accurately detected and the extent of decay expressed in several different forms, with decay as a proportion of the wall area under analysis being the standard notation. Using a thin section exposure system it was found that, after a four day lag phase, soft rot decay in bamboo fibres increased at a constant rate, reaching 60% of wall area after fourteen days. The image analysis technique is rapid and straight forward to use, enabling the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data from the same area. It also allows different regions of a sample to be analysed separately. Further work with the technique is in progress to quantify decay in a wider range of timbers and to assess the effect of preservative treatments.
P J Wickens, R J Murphy


Bamboo preservation in Vietnam
2009 - IRG/WP 09-40457
This paper presents the current state of bamboo preservation in Vietnam. The report focuses on the importance of bamboo preservation in relation to the bamboo resource and utilization, the major methods for preservation (such as non chemical und chemical methods), and emphasises the today’s pressing problems of research, standards as well as information for the bamboo preservation industry in Vietnam.
Tang Thi Kim Hong


Non Toxic Remedial Treatment of Bamboo Structures/Furniture
2010 - IRG/WP 10-40516
Molds and beetles often attack bamboo furniture and structures when used in untreated or inadequate preservative treatment. Remediation or eradication of infestation often involves expensive chemicals (fumigants) and specialized methods, which are not available in villages. Novel inexpensive methods using easily available chemicals were developed for controlling such infestations. Whereas application of common baking soda can be used to prevent molds, fumigation with ammonia or localized heat treatment can get rid of beetles in fixed structures.
S Kumar


Chapter 1 - Introduction to bamboo
2007 - IRG/WP 07-10635-01
In this introductory chapter the botanical position, distribution, utilization, outlooks, production, research, importance, propagation, natural durability, preservative treatment, importance of preservative treatment, treating principles, research on preservative treatment of bamboos and the objectives of this book have been described briefly under individual caption.
A K Lahiry


Treatability and retainability of two important bamboo species - borak and jawa of Bangladesh
2002 - IRG/WP 02-40248
Preservative treatment has been carried out with five different concentrations, i.e. 3%, 4%, 5%, 6% and 7% and durations, i.e. 2 days, 4 days, 6 days, 8 days and 10 days, at different moisture content, i.e. green and air-dry, and different direction of penetration, i.e. radial and both radial and cross-section for jawa and borak. It has been observed that retention of CCB is always higher in jawa bamboo than borak, which is a clear indication to consider jawa bamboo a more permeable and diffusible bamboo species for dipping process. Adequate retention of preservative for indoor use has been obtained in most of the cases. It has been observed that 6% concentration of preservative with 8 to 10 days duration of dipping provides the best results.
M N Islam, A K Lahiry, M O Hannan


Mapping soft rot decay distribution using image analysis
1993 - IRG/WP 93-20011
Image analysis has been shown to be a useful technique for the assessment of soft rot decay caused by Chaetomium globosum in birch and bamboo (Wickens and Murphy, 1992). The technique can permit assessment of decay in individual or small groups of cells and this has been used to undertake soft rot decay mapping in thin sections of bamboo. Assessments were made of the extent of soft rot decay with time in different fibre areas within individual vascular bundles. Comparisons were also made between bundles in different parts of the culm wall. The observations made indicated differences in the soft rot susceptibility of fibres depending upon their location in, and the age of, the culm wall. The location of fibres of different soft rot susceptibility could be mapped accurately using image analysis and this distribution compared with the known variation in fibre wall structure and composition. The advantages of image analysis techniques for such research are discussed.
P J Wickens, R J Murphy, G F M Watts


Upright capillary absorption behavior of five important timbers and one bamboo species of Bangladesh
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40273
The upright or vertical capillary absorption rate of five different timber and bamboo species namely mango (Mangifera indica), kalajam (Syzygium cumini), kanthal (Artocarpus heterophyllus), sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), mahagoni (Swietenia macrophylla) and mulibamboo (Melocana baccifera) were measured in relation to their specific gravity and duration of immersion. It has been observed that there was significant relation between increase of capillarity and timber species. From the analysis of data it was found that the rise of capillarity is more or less similar in case of bamboo, jam and kanthal but the values were comparatively lower than that of mahagoni, sissoo and mango. The value of the capillarity has been found the highest in mangowood. There was no significant relation with the rise of capillarity and advancement of time. Initially, the soaking rate of bamboo has increased at an increasing rate, but it soaks the solution at more or less same rate with time. It has been also observed that the absorption height has changed with the specific gravity of wood and absorption height has increased gradually with the increase of immersion time.
M A Islam, A K M A Bosunia, A K Saha, A K Lahiry


Role of cell wall structure in soft rot decay of bamboo
1995 - IRG/WP 95-10133
Models of soft rot hyphal penetration of bamboo cell walls are proposed. Soft rot hyphae show an interesting capability of penetrating the bamboo cell wall in different forms; typical longitudinal penetrating hyphae and tangentially orientated penetrating hyphae. The second form of penetration was found to be different from that normally associated with wood cell walls. The differences can be attributed to the cell wall structure of bamboo. Soft rot hyphae normally follow the microfibrillar orientation in either the broad lamellae or the narrow lamellae in bamboo cell walls. Hyphae that grow in the broad lamellae normally penetrate in the longitudinal direction and follow the orientation of the microfibrils of this layer of the cell wall. This produces a 'typical' longitudinal penetrating hyphae and cavity. Soft rot hyphae are also found penetrating in the tangential direction. These arise from radially orientated hyphae trying to penetrate across the lamellated cell wall neighbouring cells. When a radially orientated hyphae encounters the narrow lamellae, the hyphae can reorientate in the direction of the microfibrils in this lamellae. Thus, the hyphae penetrate in a tangential direction in the cell wall. These types of penetrations are not seen in wood cell walls.
O Sulaiman, R J Murphy


Chapter 2 - Introduction to world bamboo
2007 - IRG 07-10635-02
In this chapter the bamboo species of the whole world along with local name, bamboo type, flowering type, locality and uses have been presented in 20 different Tables.
A K Lahiry


Chapter 6 - Preservatives of bamboo
2007 - IRG/WP 07-10635-06
Almost all currently available oil-borne, water-borne and compound types of preservatives suitable for the preservation of bamboo or wood have been described along with their classifications, applications, formulations, merits and demerits, history of invention or discovery and development. The preservatives suitable for wood are also considered suitable for bamboo.
A K Lahiry


Chapter 9 - Preservation of borak bamboo
2007 - IRG/WP 07-10635-09
Adequate penetration and retention of CCA and CCB have been obtained in pre-dried Borak bamboo (Bambusa balcooa Roxb. See Fig. below), abundantly grown in Bangladesh, with full-cell pressure process. The treated bamboo can be used as building materials; the sufficient treatability ensured its long-term best utilization at ground contact and indoors. This will keep the environmental and socioeconomical conditions of Bangladesh more viable and normal.
A K Lahiry


The performance of CCA treatment in bamboo against decay fungi
1993 - IRG/WP 93-30027
Samples of culm wall material from young (< 6 month age) and mature (> 3 years age) culms of the bamboo, Phyllostachys virideglaucescens were treated to equivalent% w/w retentions of a CCA preservative. After fixation and leaching the treated samples were exposed to decay by Chaetomium globosum FPRL S70K, Coriolus versicolor FPRL 28A and Coniophora puteana FPRL 11E. Thin section samples of untreated and CCA treated bamboo were also exposed to Chaetomium globosum PPRL S70K for visual assessment of decay. The results indicated that CCA could control all three decay types in the mature culm but, in the young material, no dose response to the treatment was found at%w/w retentions equivalent to those in the mature culm. The results are discussed with respect to the development of bamboo cell walls and suggest a significant role for the presence of lignin in determining CCA effectiveness.
O Sulaiman, R J Murphy


Preservative treatement of muli bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) by pressure process
2001 - IRG/WP 01-40194
This study was carried out in order to investigate the possibility of preservative treatment of split bamboo by pressure process. Whole bamboo is very difficult to treat by pressure process, which is the best and most dependable of all treating processes. Because it surface has a coat of impervious cutiular which make it very resistance to the penetration of liquid. Beside this it is prone to develop cracks under high pressure reducing strength to a greater extent. Split bamboo is used for different purposes. Generally muli bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) is used in splitting condition due to its strength and thickness. To find out the optimum schedule for the treatment of split bamboo, a number of schedule were carried out varying pressure and period. It was found that there was no significant variation with increasing pressure and period. It was observed that split bamboo can be satisfactorily treated by pressure process following a moderate treatment schedule with conventional water-borne preservatives.
K Akhter, M Younusuzzaman, M H Chowdhury


The preventive actions of three commercial wood preservatives against Dinoderus minutus
1984 - IRG/WP 1233
Dinoderus minutus is one of the most common pest insects for the bamboos. For preventing the damages of this insect, the preventive treatment of bamboos with preservatives is necessary. But because of the environmental reasons, only limited insecticides are available in Japan. The author determined the preventive effects of three commercial products against Dinoderus minutus by the medium of the Buckwheat Cake and also by a bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusolides). The results obtained were severer than ones of Lyctus brunneus. In the case of dipping treatment of the bamboo, Fenitrothion is more effective than two other preservatives (Chlordane and Phoxim).
K Suzuki


Chapter 16 - General references
2007 - IRG/WP 07-10635-16
A K Lahiry


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