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Bamboo plywood production method

Harvesting

The process of making bamboo plywood begins with the careful selection and harvesting of bamboo. There are more than 10,000 species of bamboo in the world. The bamboo most commonly used for plywood is moso bamboo.

Originally grown in China and Taiwan, moso bamboo has over time become naturalized and grown in other parts of the world. Mao bamboo grows to a height of 10-12 meters in just four years and is widely used in the construction industry. The roots of the bamboo form a very large system that does not need to be replanted after harvest.

Production.

Harvested bamboo is carefully inspected for defects and blemishes. These defects are usually caused by pests, but can also be caused by weather conditions or other external factors. Bamboo that passes the initial inspection is sent to a plywood factory.

There, the bamboo is cut into many strips. These bamboo strips are treated with a sodium borate solution to kill pests that may cause long-term damage. The cleaned strips are kiln-dried until the moisture content is less than 10%. A moisture content of around 6-8% is ideal for the production of strong bamboo plywood.

After contamination and heat treatment, the slats are re-examined and divided into two categories: surface material and backing material. Only the best slats are used as surface material. Each plank is textured at an angle of 45 or 90 degrees to the previous plank. This process further enhances the strength and durability of the bamboo veneer. The final product is obtained by gluing the slats together and placing them under a hydraulic press.

Features

Studies have shown that bamboo has a higher compressive strength than concrete and a tensile strength similar to steel. This means that bamboo will not shrink or stretch when subjected to external forces.

Take special care when placing screws or nails 2-3 cm from the edge. To avoid cracks, splits or damage, pre-drilling is recommended.

Painting and finishing of plywood

Unfinished bamboo plywood is available from most sawmills and stores. Unfinished plywood is plywood that has not been artificially colored or finished. The buyer can decide whether to keep the natural look or have it artificially finished, which adds to the versatility of the product.

To stain or finish bamboo plywood, the following steps must be followed

Prepare the plywood

For best results, there are several preparation steps to follow. First, allocate a workspace and decide how the plywood will be stored. As with most wood plywood, avoid storing the plywood vertically. Always store them flat on the floor or on pallets.

Then, make sure the temperature in the workroom is always between 30 and 90°C and the humidity is maintained between 40 and 60%. Once the temperature and humidity have been determined, the plywood needs to be acclimatized to the temperature and humidity of the room. The acclimatization process takes about 3 to 10 days. After the acclimatization process is complete, inspect the surface of the panel for flaws and imperfections. If you find any imperfections, wipe them off with a clean cloth and 150 grit ultra-fine sandpaper. Now, the bamboo plywood is ready to be colored.

Coloring the plywood

The first step in coloring is to lay the plywood on a flat surface. This can be the floor or a workbench. It is recommended to do the coloring indoors as this reduces the chances of dust or debris getting on the plywood.

Use a brush to lightly apply wood conditioner to the plywood. This will help the stain to better penetrate and absorb the color of the stain. If the final color is lighter than expected, apply two coats. Customers who have used Penicillin Hardwood Formula have reported success. After sanding with 300 grit sandpaper, apply two coats to one side. The bamboo will darken slightly and take on a rich sheen.

For best results, remember to apply the stain with the grain of the wood. Applying the stain any other way may not achieve the desired result or may damage the product. Once you are satisfied with the color, allow the plywood to cure for 24 hours. Artificial stain not only changes the color of the product, it also creates a thin protective film that makes it more resistant to moisture and damage.

Plywood Finishes

Finishing is the final stage in the production of bamboo plywood. For this purpose oil, wax and polyurethane can be used. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Oil finishes are the most common. Mineral oil is suitable for surfaces that come into contact with food or edible items. Linseed oil is suitable for interior surfaces

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