Discover facts about bamboo scaffolding

Bamboo scaffolding is a temporary bamboo structure that is commonly used in the construction industry. Unlike the other more common forms of scaffolding, bamboo scaffolding involves only the use of bamboo and nylon straps for tying the bamboo together. Bamboo scaffolding may be used when working with small structures as well as megastructures up to 60 stories tall. Although it is uncommon in the UK, it is significantly popular in some Asian countries.

Close up view on a bamboo scaffold joint

How strong is bamboo

Bamboo normally has a compression strength of 40-80 N/mm2. Some bamboo types like Gigantochloa Apus and Spring Bamboo have a compression strength of 20N/mm whereas others like Phyllostachys Edulis and Moso Bamboo have a compression strength of up to 100N/mm2.

Aside from being a temporary structure, a bamboo scaffold is quite strong. For safety, experienced craftsmen are the ones to tie the structure together. A major issue that makes specifying the strength of the bamboo complicated is the huge variations.

Is bamboo stronger than steel

Bamboo is not stronger than steel. Steel has a compression strength of 250N/mm2. Variations in the tensile strength of bamboo go from 100N/mm2 up to 200N/mm2. The commonly used average is 160N/mm2.

Generally, steel ranges when it comes to its tensile strength. Structural steel has a tensile strength of 400N/mm2. In comparison to this, unreinforced concrete averages to a tensile strength of 5N/mm2 and a compression strength of 25Mpa.

Bamboo scaffolding vs steel

Depending on the type of bamboo and the type of steel considered, it can be stronger than steel. However, bamboo scaffolding is not as strong as steel scaffolding when you put general numbers into consideration. The design of the scaffold and how it was constructed also have a big impact on its strength.

Bamboo scaffolding facts

In case you have any intentions to incorporate the use of bamboo scaffolds, then there are some tips you need to know about bamboo scaffolding.

  • Bamboo takes about four years to grow to the right size for scaffold use.
  • The hollowness of the bamboo pole makes it difficult to break.
  • Weather sensitivity of bamboo makes it rot.
  • Bamboo is among the fastest growing plants with a record of upto 1 meter per day.
  • Bamboo scaffolding is able to wrap structures that are upto 70 stories tall.

Is bamboo scaffolding safe

Even though the use of scaffolding is generally a dangerous undertaking, bamboo scaffolding is considerably safer than the other methods. In the event of any of the poles falling off the structure, the unheavy nature of the bamboo makes it less likely to cause any significant damage than much heavier steel poles.

The durable nature of bamboo has made it a much more unquestionable option to use in areas prone to earthquakes.

Scaffolding erected from bamboo

Cost and time

Bamboo scaffolding is an affordable option for construction work as it is a natural resource. In areas such as Hong Kong city and China, where it is locally available, this is the most commonly used. Although it is lightweight, the strength and durability shouldn’t be underestimated as it surpasses steel by far.

Its lightweight also helps the workers save on time as they can erect it faster and more efficiently than metal. Bamboo scaffolds can be assembled six times quicker and taken down up to 12 times faster than steel scaffolding.

Whatever project you choose to embark on, this information should help you decide whether bamboo scaffolding is the perfect material of choice. From its affordability, strength, and durability, a lot makes bamboo a suitable scaffolding material for construction. Depending on the nature of the project you have, scaffolder should be able to tell you whether it’s a convenient option for the project you’re undertaking.