Guadua Bamboo Poles
Guadua Bamboo, better known as "World's Strongest Bamboo" or "Vegetal Steel" is a giant South American bamboo species with a higher tensile strength than steel. Its extraordinary load bearing capacity (MOE 17,859 N/mm2) makes it the #1 preferred bamboo among visionary builders and architects specialized in green and sustainable construction around the world.
Guadua Bamboo is a producer and exporter of wholesale Guadua bamboo poles in bulk from South America. We ship from Colombia, since it is the country with the best quality and most abundant supply of Guadua angustifolia in the Americas. Not only is Guadua native to Colombia, the country also has a long tradition in regards to bamboo construction, preservation techniques and advanced manufacturing.
Guadua angustifolia is considered to be the world's strongest bamboo with a tensile strength greater than steel, which makes it the preferred species for construction and load bearing applications.
In contrast to popular believes, South American Guadua also surpasses its famous competitor from Asia: Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis). See the following study from the Larenstein University in the Netherlands to learn more about the extraordinary mechanical properties of Guadua angustifolia.
Bamboo Poles Harvest and Treatment Process
Just as with regular wood, most bamboo species have low resistance against insects and other biological degrading organisms. Without any protective treatment, most bamboo species have an average durability of less than 2 years. Stored under cover, untreated bamboo may last 4-7 years, depending on the species, length and thickness of the stems.
Professionally harvested and treated Guadua poles on the other hand have an average service life of more than 30 years. In order to offer Grade A construction and export quality poles we have developed special preservation and drying techniques which are unique in the Americas. These techniques consist of sustainable and selective harvest at high altitudes, submerging the poles in large tanks with non-toxic boron preservatives at high temperatures, sun bleaching, solar drying and kiln drying.
Watch our Harvest and Treatment Video below!
1. Selection and Harvest
Only mature bamboo culms of 4-6 years old that grow on altitudes between 1,200 and 1,600 m above sea level are selected and harvested. These Guadua culms are extremely strong and hardened (lignified) which maximizes the mechanical properties for construction related applications.
Bamboo poles selected by these parameters also shrink and crack less when dry and have a higher natural resistance against future insects attacks, fungus and other microorganisms. See this article if you are interested to learn more on harvesting bamboo poles.
2. Perforating and Dimensioning
After the bamboo stems are harvested and transported to our treatment facility they are cut to the required size and and all nodes (diaphragms) are perforated. Because bamboo has a natural water repellent outer layer, it is impossible for preservatives to enter the bamboo fibers from the outside. Therefore, the chemicals needs to be introduced from the inside where the fibers can absorb the solution. A steel rod with a large drill bit welded to the tip is used to penetrate each node throughout the length of the Guadua pole.
Guadua angustifolia is a thin walled bamboo species except near the base where wall thickness is much greater compared to the center and top part of the bamboo tree. In order to provide top quality poles for export, we only select the sections near the base as these are most desired by our clients.
To prepare bamboo poles for the preservation process, all mosses and surface stains are cleaned off with a high pressure washer, and later each node is cleaned individually by hand with a steel brush.
4. Preparing Chemicals
The preservation of bamboo is extremely important for the durability of the poles. We use a non-toxic boron solution which is colorless and dissolves in hot water (the residue is used as fertilizer).
5. Preservation (Soak Diffusion Method)
Our 9 m treatment tank is equipped with a heating system that reduces the normal processing time from 4 days to only 8 hours. High temperatures also expand the bamboo fibers allowing the natural sabia to exit (due to osmotic pressure) and the solution to enter and maintain at a higher concentration, therefore guaranteeing the immunization.
The method of soaking / diffusion is ideal when Guadua poles are used for construction or further industrial processing. This treatment also allows the bamboo poles to dry faster compared to the Boucherie (sap-replacement) method.
Drying bamboo requires more time than wood of similar density. That's because bamboo possess hygroscopic materials (compound that easily absorbs moisture) that may contain 50-60% moisture content, depending on the felling season, area of growth and species.
After the immunization, poles are bleached in open air for approximately 1-2 weeks and rotated twice per day to avoid cracking. The "sun-bleaching method" removes most chlorophyll in the outer layer and ensures a nice uniform beige color of the poles which is more desirable for a construction material and easier to stain or paint if required.
7. Color Coding and Quality Control
Each bamboo pole is color coded by diameter class to facilitate inventory and storage. Once the poles are color coded it means they are ready to ship and comply with all our quality standards such as; limited cracks and bends, moisture content, maturity and color.
Examples of Guadua Poles in Use
Up until the last 10 years or so very few people in the West had ever heard about Guadua Bamboo as a high quality building material. This all changed when award winning Colombian architect Simon Velez constructed a Guadua pavilion of nearly 22,000 sq ft for the ZERI Foundation at the Expo Hanover of 2000. For the first time in history a bamboo structure received a building permit in Germany, and so began the fascination for Guadua among western engineers, builders and architects.
Today Guadua poles are used for heavy duty construction projects, bridges, art installations, fences, gazebos, tiki bars, furniture, cladding, ceiling covers, and this list goes on...
Bamboo Poles Wholesale Prices
All our large bamboo poles are dried to a moisture content of between 13 - 18% to avoid cracking in drier climates and boron treated against insect infestation and mold forming.
The standard length of our poles for export is 6 meters. A 40' HQ container can load about 900 poles of 6 m length (mixed diameters), for more information please see this page about container load capacities. All poles can be cut to your specifications.
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