banner

Director's Desk

 

Dr. B N Mohanty
Dr. B N Mohanty, Director, IPIRTI

 

 

Globally, there is a resurgence of interest in finding sustainable substitutes for traditional wood with fast growing materials such as plantation timber, Bamboos and other lignocellulosics including agro-wastes.  Out of all the above substitutes, Bamboo is rightly called the “Green Gold” as it has immense potential for large scale value additions into plethora of panel products which can become game-changer for developing and backward Economies.  Bamboo, a versatile material, as composite is always handy in various structural, construction and furniture uses.  In this direction, significant Research & Development (R&D) efforts have already been made at the Indian Plywood Industry Research & Training Institute (IPIRTI), Bangalore which led to the development of several innovative products such as Bamboo Mat Board (BMB), Bamboo Mat Veneer Composite (BMVC), Bamboo Mat Corrugated Sheet (BMCS), Bamboo Mat Ridge Cap (BMRC), Bamboo Mat Moulded Skin Board (BMMSB), Bamboo Lumber (BL), Bamboo Face Veneer (BFV), Bamboo Laminates (Vertical and Horizontal), Bamboo Particle Board, Bamboo wood, Bamboo flooring tiles, High density shuttering grade panels etc. Such value added bamboo products can contribute significantly in reducing energy consumption and carbon footprints by cutting down on non-renewable building materials viz. steel, concrete, aluminium etc.

 

An Affordable housing technology was developed at IPIRTI in collaboration with Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) of the United Kingdom using raw materials of bamboo and chicken mesh.  The IPIRTI-TRADA housing system with ample uses of bamboo is not only green, eco-friendly, cost effective but also can resist earth quakes up to Zone-5 (equivalent to intensity 7 in Richter scale) without any damage.  The process parameters for bamboo composites have been standardized and prepared for mass scale industrialization.  Many of these products are now being commercially manufactured for mass consumption.  All these R&D efforts, in many ways have helped the establishment and expansion of the bamboo based panel industry in the country.  However, the scope of bamboo utilization can further be widened with innovations in the field of Bamboo Polymer composites, Bamboo Oriented Strand Board, Bamboo Sleek Board, Microwave assisted bamboo processing and acoustic technology for developing high-end products for interior and exterior application in houses. Bamboo fiber has immense potential to be used as reinforcement in thermoplastic composites thereby increasing the mechanical strength of bamboo panels.  The bamboo fibres can also be used to synthesize Nano-cellulose and thus opens up new area of research in bamboo composites for Gen-next products.

 

In order to engineer Bamboo into various panel products, preliminary processing is required which shapes hollow, cylindrical bamboo into basic materials of slivers or strips to be further processed for useful products. Split bamboo is also very susceptible to fungus and termite attack unless given proper preservative treatment. IPIRTI has all expertise and facilities for bamboo processing including preservative treatment and testing of bamboo products.


India, having the second largest genetic resources of bamboo, possesses immense potential to utilize them for socio-economic development and up-liftment of the people especially in North-Eastern states which are abundantly endowed with this sustainable natural resource.  Side by side, India with 11.4 million hectares of area under bamboo, commands trade of 4.5 billion USD which is way behind China with trade of 30 billion USD from only 6 million hectares of area under bamboo.  Thus, there is a strong need to bridge this gap and comprehensively tap the full potential of bamboo to generate employment and wealth for millions.


Bamboo is making successful in-roads from traditional rural market into commercial sectors.  Use of bamboo for manufacturing value-added products not only generates additional employment opportunities but will help in reducing the depletion of forests through wood substitution and also encourages bamboo cultivation which helps the environment. Through commercial harnessing of sustainable bamboo processing technologies, we can change its image from the “poor man’s timber” to a high-tech industrial material and a game-changer for socio-economically challenged areas such as North East India and the country as a whole.

 

© IPIRTI, All rights Reserved