Bamboo versus Maple plywood boards

Maple has always been the standard for skate boards. We have always touted the strength of bamboo when compared to other timbers such as Maple, Oak and Saligna. But one often has to get a bit technical to prove the point.

Then, one stumbles into guys that do really zany things to get an idea across. These guys make such a strong point for the tensile strength of bamboo.

How does a Maple skate board compare to a Bamboo skate board?

Have a look at this video the the guys at Spiral Threads put up.

We did a few tests of our own at a lab to see how strong our bamboo boards really are. The type of test we had performed is called a “Flexural strength” test (we won’t  bore you with the fancy technical details).

3.2 mm bamboo panel - flexural strength testA flexural deformation test was performed on a 3.2 mm thick Eco-Logic Bamboo panel.  The testing machine presses down on the board up to a maximum of 1,050 kg (1 ton) of pressure!

In the case of the 3.2 mm thick bamboo panel, the machine only got to 75 kg before the testing machines maximum range of 75 mm flex range was reached. Needless to say, the bamboo panel did not break and simply returned to normal after the test.

We performed the same test on a 30 mm bamboo plywood board and it only deflected 4 mm at 1,050 kg of pressure (yes you read that right – 1 ton of pressure flexed the board 4 mm).

The 40 mm bamboo boards deflected 3 mm under the maximum machine pressure of 1 ton. There was no breakage and the boards returned to normal after testing.

You can now see why bamboo is fast replacing Maple as the material of choice for skate boards. Anyone who has watched the abuse those skaters deal out on their boards knows – you need a really tough material for a skate board. Bamboo has proven itself up to the task.

But it’s strength is not the only reason – skateboards are the number 1 reason for the deforestation of Maple forests in North America. A Maple tree takes between 40 to 60 years to mature, whereas bamboo only takes 5 years. Also, the maple trees need to be replaced after harvesting, bamboo simply sends up another shoot to replace the harvested bamboo culm.

This just goes to show how practical bamboo is as wood replacement product.




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About Oriental Bamboo Team

We only deal in Solid Bamboo Timber Products - boards, counter tops, plywood panels and doors - nothing else.
  
Through extensive manufacturing research and experience, we specify our products at our factories to perform well in our diverse African climatic zones.
  
Being solid bamboo pioneers in Southern Africa, we have worked with users in all facets of timber application over the years.
 
We are driven to understand our customers specific requirements. As a result of these relationships with our varied clients, we have accumulated a lot of experience in using solid bamboo products wherever one would traditionally use timber.
  
This blog documents a few of our experiences and comments on various aspects of solid bamboo timber as used in various applications.
  
Cape Town based Oriental Bamboo is a bulk bamboo timber supplier of "specified for Southern Africa": bamboo boards, bamboo plywood panels, solid and hollow core bamboo doors via a network of timber merchants in South Africa and sub Saharan Africa.

Comments

  1. We manufacture skate board decks in Cape Town. Brett is it possible to get any 3mm samples for laminating and giving it a try.We are currently very involved in the industry and maybe we need to use bamboo together with our solid wood cores.I think I might of met you when you guys were in Epping years ago, I was in the same complex. Looking forward to meeting with you.Thanks Vincent

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