Bamboo preservation methods can be divided into non-chemical (traditional) and chemical methods. The selection of the appropriate treatment method depends on various factors:
These are ancient methods which have been practiced in areas where bamboo commonly grows. They are simple and cost-effective without the use of chemicals or supporting equipment. However, these methods are in general not appropriate for long-term protection of bamboo.
Chemical preservatives are used to protect bamboo products from degradation. These are well established methods providing good protection even in adverse conditions.
Natural Durability of Bamboo
Most bamboo species have very low resistance to biological degrading organisms and need specialized preservation techniques to prevent such degradation, and to improve its durability.
Bamboo Insect Infestation
Untreated bamboo, just like almost any other wood, has a high chance of being attacked by insects. Bamboo insect infestation occurs due to the presence of starch and other carbohydrates.
Bamboo Mold and Fungus
Mold and fungus originate from very fine, air-borne spores present in fruit bodies and cause biological degradation of bamboo. They nourish from the starch (sugar) that are present in bamboo culms.
How to Recognize Mature Bamboo?
Knowing which bamboo culms to cut will contribute to the bamboo's resistance against insects attacks, fungus and microorganisms, and will influence the future durability and quality of the bamboo poles.
When and How to Harvest Bamboo?
Timing plays a crucial role when harvesting bamboo poles. Knowing when and how to harvest bamboo has been one of the most important traditional bamboo preservation methods.
Storing bamboo in water or "leaching bamboo" is a traditional bamboo preservation method, used by indigenous communities and farmers of several Asian and Latin American regions.
Chemical Bamboo Preservation
Chemical bamboo preservation ensures long term protection. Depending upon the method of bamboo treatment, chemical preservatives can impart short term or long term protection.
Drying bamboo poles requires more time than wood of similar density. This because bamboo possess hygroscopic materials (compound that easily absorbs moisture) that may contain 50-60% moisture content.
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