Guadua angustifolia Kunth (Guadua) is a bamboo species native to South and Central America that has been widely used for structural applications in small and large scale buildings, bridges and temporary structures. Guadua remains a material for vernacular construction associated with high levels of manual labour and structural unpredictability. The aim of this work is to develop standardised industrial structural products from Guadua and to measure and predict their mechanical behaviour. Cross laminated Guadua (CLG) panels comprised of three and five layers were manufactured and their mechanical properties evaluated by testing small and large specimens in compression and shear. The digital image correlation (DIC) method was used to measure strain variations in the X, Y and Z axes on the surface of small CLG panels with strain gauge measurements on the reverse face. The deformation of large CLG panels was measured using DIC on the front face and transducers on the reverse face. The results from mechanical tests and DIC were compared and a finite element (FE) model developed that predicts the response of the material. Overall, this study provides guidelines for structural design with engineered bamboo products which are of key importance for their mainstream use.
This study presents the experimental evaluation of the behaviour of beams and columns made of Glued Laminated Guadua (GLG) bamboo. Flexural tests were conducted on structural size beams of various span lengths and two lamination orientations (horizontal and vertical) in order to evaluate the different capacities achieved according to the predominant induced stresses, bending or shear. Experimental results indicated a reduction of bending strength as the member’s size increased whereas lamination in the vertical direction presented 12% higher values of modulus of rupture (MOR), and 9% higher values of modulus of elasticity (MOE) compared to equivalent results for lamination in the horizontal direction. Additionally, compression tests were performed on structural size columns with various slenderness ratios and two lamination orientations. Although minor differences were found for lamination orientation, lower capacities were observed as the slenderness ratio increased. This experimental data is expected to be used in order to propose adjustment factors for structural size beams as well as the determination of the column stability factor.
Engineered bamboo, produced through the technique of gluing and reconstituting, has better mechanical properties than round bamboo and some wood products. This paper studies the flexural performance of laminated beams produced with timber and engineered bamboo. The six-layer beams were made from Douglas fir, spruce, bamboo scrimber and laminated bamboo, or a combination of these. It is confirmed that glued-laminated wood beams producedwith wood of weak strength, like spruce, can be strengthened by gluing engineered bamboo lumbers on the outer faces, thus achieving better utilization of the fast growing economic wood species. Flexural failure of the laminated beams was primarily triggered by tensile fracture of the bottom fiber in mid-span, followed by horizontal tearing beside the broken surface. No relative slip between layers was observed before failure, therefore the flexural capacity of the laminated beams can be predicted using equilibrium and compatibility conditions according to the plane section assumption