Designers are being offered bamboo ply as a new alternative to hardwood timber, allowing them to contribute to minimising the destruction of native forests while moving towards managed commercial plantations that are selectively harvested annually without the destruction of the grove or stand.
Unlike traditional hardwood, bamboo can be harvested every year without destroying the plantation, with the bamboo stems sprouting new shoots during the next rains. Bamboo can grow to its full maturity in four to six years while it takes a tree decades or even hundreds of years.
Strong and enduring
Bamboo ply is stronger and harder wearing than most hardwoods. Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel, and the material is 25 per cent harder than Red Oak and 12 per cent harder than North American Maple. It also has 50 per cent less expansion or contraction than Red Oak.
Bamboo plywood is made of fine layers of bamboo strips laid in parallel order and kiln dried, sanded smooth and then laminated edge to edge to create a single-ply panel. These panels are then laminated again to each other to create multi-ply bamboo plywood free of formaldehyde emissions. The multi layers are cross-laminated and heat pressed together to provide stability and prevent warping, making bamboo ply 3-4 times more dimensionally stable then Oak.
Bamboo plywood can be cut, sanded, nailed, screwed and plugged using conventional woodworking equipment and also offers excellent dimensional stability. Sydney-based bamboo plywood specialists, Plywood & Plastics also offers a natural or coffee colour (carbonised) finish and a variety of grain types such as narrow, wide and strand woven. Bamboo ply additionally scores over hardwood in size options with Plywood & Plastics offering massive sheet sizes of 2440 x 1220mm in thicknesses from 0.6mm up to 40mm.
Bamboo ply from Plywood & Plastics is a great replacement for any hardwood plywood product in an interior design project.