Macroscopic aspects and physical properties ofDendrocalamus asperBacker for composite panels
The aim of this research was to determine the basic properties of Dendrocalamus asper and its suitability as raw material for manufacture of composite panels. For this purpose, macroscopic characteristics and physical properties such as specific gravity, shrinkage and swelling, and water uptake were studied. The results show that some of the macroscopic characteristics change at different positions along the bamboo culm. Outer internode diameter and wall thickness gradually decrease with the culm height. The internode length increases from the bottom to the middle part and further decreases toward the top. The tissue volume of internodes decreases from the bottom to the top. All physical properties vary with the culm height. The specific gravity increases with culm height; the dimensional stability in the radial direction and water uptake are highly related to specific gravity. The dimensional stability lengthwise is more stable than crosswise. The study shows that D. asper has superior physical properties, which are comparable to those of some softwood and hardwood species. It should therefore be promoted as a substitute for wood in the manufacturing of structural composite lumber like Oriented Strand Board or Oriented Strand Lumber.