Things You Didn't Know About Bamboo Strength

2nd Sep 2016

We offer 8 different pairs of bamboo sunglasses featured in brown-stained bamboo and natural bamboo. We think bamboo is pretty amazing and is worthy of our appreciation. We also have other wood sunglasses Here are some cool things to know about the strength of bamboo. 

1. Bamboo Is Strong: 

When compared to wood, bamboo fiber is 2-3 times stronger than timber.  Maple wood is one of the densest and strongest hardwoods, yet bamboo is stronger while still being quite a bit lighter.

In Hong Kong, bamboo's abundance, incredibly strong structure, and light weight combine to make it perfect to be used as scaffolding in the construction of skyscrapers. Check it out: 


How It Works did a fantastic video that talks about bamboo scaffolding used in Hong Kong. See how it is used here:

2. Bamboo's Strength Comes From Being Hard

Fortius Bamboo is 122% harder than Tasmanian Oak and out performs just about every wood in the market. It is no wonder that in addition to scaffolding, it is being used for flooring, walls, decking, plywood, fencing and more. 

The scale below how bamboo and these other woods performed on the Janka hardness test that measures the resistance of wood to denting and wear.  and 11.28 mm (.444 inch) steel ball into the wood to half of the ball's diameter. Turns out, it takes 3,000 pounds of force to achieve this with Fortius Bamboo. 

3. In Some Ways Bamboo Cable is Stronger Than Steel

The tensile strength of plaited bamboo cables is as strong as or stronger than a steel cable of the same size. Hemp rope loses 20% of its strength when wet while bamboo cables increase in strength by as much as 20% when wet. In fact, in South America, bamboo is referred to as vegetable steel.

The longest bamboo suspension bridge was built across the Min-chiang River in China, and was built over 1000 years ago.  While it was damaged, ferry boats were used, then in 1803 the bridge was rebuilt. The bridge was 850 feet long, 9 feet wide and supported by 10 woven bamboo cables 6 inches in diameter. Pretty crazy a bamboo bridge could span nearly 900 feet!!  Quite the feat.  (In 1974 the bridge was replaced by a steel cable bridge.)

Here is a video of a failure test of a connector for bamboo structures. It finally fails at 57.6 kN which translates to about 5.8 tons of force. That is roughly 13,000 pounds of force! The breaking point happens at 1:50 into the video.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for bamboo. We will continue to post about the awesomeness of bamboo, so be sure to check back later! So, buy some brown-stained bamboo sunglasses or some natural bamboo sunglasses here now! 

Janka Hardness Test