Bamboo as raw material
Bamboo – The Fast-Growing Raw Material
The bamboo plant commonly grows on the continents of Asia, North and South America, and Africa. In botanical terms, bamboo is a grass and is the fastest growing plant in the world. A growth of up to 120 cm per day has been measured in the tropics. The bamboo plant used especially for parquet flooring, “Phyllostachys Pubescens”, is predominantly native to China and has a diameter of 10-15cm. Bamboo is fully grown after approximately 6-12 months. During the following years the stem lignifies until it has achieved its maximum hardness after approximately 5 years and with it the optimum conditions for sturdy bamboo parquet.
Bamboo – Multifaceted
Bamboo is a highly used material that has firm roots
in Asian culture. It serves not only as a nutritional product (bamboo shoots) and as a consumer good for daily use, but has also firmly established itself as a building material in Asia. Furthermore, bamboo posts have enormous strength and are therefore used in the production of scaffolding. Bamboo is also burned to make charcoal in order to produce products with cleansing effects. Recently, it has also been used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Furthermore, bamboo fibers are used increasingly by the textile industry for the production of high-quality fabrics. Bamboo achieved its breakthrough in the West through the separation of the stalks into lamellae. This formed the foundations for even broader industrial use. The lamellae are now bonded into boards in various ways, and processed to produce parquet, veneer, or furniture panels.
Bamboo: Superb Characteristics
This high-quality material is not only compelling due to its ecological balance and its visual appeal, but also due to its exceptional strength and low swelling and shrinking values. The Brinell values are quoted at approximately 4.0 for the following four standard variants:
- vertical laminated classic tone
- vertical laminated natural light tone
- horizontal laminated classic tone
- vertical laminated natural light tone
These therefore lie above the value of the oak parquet. With the product innovation of strand bamboo, the material compression results in a Brinell value of over 6.0. This interesting parquet variant is one of the hardest parquet floorings available. The swelling and shrinking behavior shows how much parquet flooring expands with high air humidity and how much it shrinks with dryness. With a 0.15% change in dimensions per 1% change in the wood moisture, bamboo is one of the least affected “woods” and therefore fulfils an additional important criterion for the production of parquet.
An Overview of the Advantages:
- particularly hard
- low swelling and shrinking characteristics
- environmentally friendly
- unique appearance in 5 different variants
- top quality through our production process
Bamboo: The production process
For reasons relating to bending and wall thickness, only the bottom meters of the bamboo stalks – which are around 15 m tall – are actually used in the production
of bamboo parquet. After harvesting, the bamboo stalks are sawn into lamellae. The lamellae are then roughly planed at which time the green bamboo bark is removed. The lamellae are then boiled in order to remove the sugar from the material and subsequently either dried with their natural light color or steamed prior to drying. During steaming, a brown color is achieved, due entirely to the application of physical pressure and heat. The dried lamellae are now planed. At this stage of production the bamboo can be pressed into parquet preforms. These preforms are used either to create solid parquet or – following separation into layers – to produce the different types of prefinished parquet (multilayer,3-ply).
For strand bamboo the bamboo stalks are debarked, roughly defibrated, and then boiled and dried (with or without steaming). During a special compression process the prepared bamboo is compressed under enormous pressure so that the fibers are pressed into each other. This compression results in a vivid and slightly exotic “wooden structure”. The large preforms are separated into thinner preforms for solid strand bamboo parquet and top layers for strand bamboo multilayer parquet. The extremely hard strand bamboo parquet is made out of these preforms.