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Why are bamboo products strong and durable?

Updated: Mar 28

Bamboo Forest

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on the planet and is an eco-friendly option to serve the same functions of materials like plastic or even steel. Bamboo can also be utilised for products commonly made from wood pulp, such as tissue and hygiene products. This is due to its tensile strength and durability.

How strong is bamboo? Why can it be used as a sustainable and durable material? Bamboo bioproducts explains.

What makes bamboo a strong and durable material?

Bamboo is known for its strength and resilience. The cornerstone of bamboo’s strength is the structure of its fibres, as they are composed of cellulose microfibrils and surrounded by lignin and hemicellulose. This structure is named Lignin-carbohydrate complex (LCC).

Bamboo is one of the strongest plants we know of, and it can also bend without breaking. Bamboo is not only more durable and lighter than other materials like wood, but it is also eco-friendly and non-toxic, which offers a great advantage for many industries.

How can we compare bamboo with other materials?

The strength of bamboo is one of the most important qualities of this plant. There are around 1600 bamboo species and their relative strength depends on compression, tensile, density, stiffness and hardness.

  • Bamboo vs wood: Bamboo is a grass but compared to other popular woods in terms of tensile strength, bamboo is stronger and has a higher tensile strength than birch and pine. Since bamboo takes about 3 years to mature, it can generate a great deal of biomass in short periods. This implies that bamboo can be a sustainable alternative and/or additive to wood pulp-based products. Strong international demand for the replacement of traditional tree-based fibres has produced a growing need for the creation of a bamboo sector within wood-based product industries. Other than bamboo, non-wood fibre sources including straw, bagasse and kenaf are not suitable for tissue due to their fibre morphology. Consequently, bamboo meets the requirements for tensile strength and softness that virgin wood fibre meets, for tissue and hygiene products.

  • Bamboo in construction: Compared to steel, bamboo is lighter and cheaper. Its tensile strength is higher than mixtures of concrete and steel, and it is often used as a reinforcement tool in construction.

    • Bamboo scaffolding does not require specialised machines or complex tools to erect, and when correctly built, can withstand years of harsh weather conditions. This has been shown in the longevity of other complete constructions made of bamboo.

  • Bamboo in other popular products: Bamboo is used in a variety of products as an alternative to materials including plastic. The main difference being is its many environmental attributes as well as its performance capabilities.

Related article: The Many Uses of Bamboo

Bamboo in tissue and hygiene products

Bamboo is a highly versatile material that can be added to a variety of products commonly used today. This makes bamboo unique in the many applications it can be used for, from bed sheets to toothbrush handles. However, bamboo is a particularly valuable resource in the tissue and hygiene industry due to its strength, softness, and its antifungal properties. Its fibre length allows it to be flexible and durable, regardless of whether it is being used in its pulp form for tissue and hygiene products, or in applications like construction. Because bamboo is a stable substitute and/or additive in products made from wood pulp, bamboo pulp has become a more widely used raw material for these paper- based products.

Bamboo Bioproducts

How will we utilise bamboo’s capabilities? Bamboo bioproducts will be developing bamboo pulp grades in close co-operation with our customers to ensure they meet their requirements for fibre characteristics and specific properties. We will sustainably farm bamboo, harvest on a managed and progressive basis and then convert the raw material in our pulp mill using the best available state-of-the-art technology. The resulting bamboo pulp will be sold to multinational corporations that produce consumer tissue and personal hygiene products.

Bamboo is a strong, low impact, and sustainable alternative to other materials. To learn more about bamboo, check out our news and updates here.


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