Concrete with bamboo reinforcement
Personal description and motivation:
The first time I came into contact with bamboo was during my one-year trip through Thailand, where the necessary scaffolding on many building sites I was partly working as a construction supervisor was done with bamboo poles. I was impressed by the flexibility and lightweight system of the poles, as well as their enormous load-bearing capacity. During my apprenticeship as a carpenter, I developed a great interest in timber construction in general, as well as the possibilities of environmental friendly building methods. While studying construction management at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences, my interest in constructions and new materials grew even stronger. Attending a module at my university in which bamboo was shown as a possible building material with great environmental benefits, motivated me to make bamboo and its possibilities in the future of constructions the main topic of my bachelor thesis.
For a long time, bamboo was considered a niche product with little prospect of widespread use in the German construction industry. The excellent properties in terms of tensile and compressive strength were often diminished by the argument of inconsistent test results for natural bamboo. However, innovative processing methods have given bamboo a newly found boost. Standardization, as well as the first certifications of bamboo materials in the construction industry, became possible. Promising new construction materials comprising bamboo are now even appearing more frequently in German markets. Most of those materials were developed as a more durable alternative to wood. But recent studies found the outer parts of bamboo to be even stronger than some types of steel, which led me to investigate the possibilities of replacing steel with bamboo in reinforced concrete. Through a series of tests, I attempt to compare steel-reinforced concrete with bamboo-reinforced concrete by their bonding- and tensile strengths. The resulting data will demonstrate that a change in the construction process does not require fundamental rethinking. Proven building methods can be retained, only the materials used will need to change. Additional to the positive environmental effects, the possible social impact of using bamboo is taken into account.