Bamboo and Advanced Composite Materials

Bamboo and Advanced Composite Materials

The short story version of how I came to use the Engineered products combined with carbon fiber and Aramid (Kevlar)that I make rods from is this:

The Herter brothers were real pioneers in perfecting Bamboo rods. They examined many species of Bamboo and found the best species for rod making. Of primary importance was Bamboo with dense high quality fibers. (These fibers are commonly referred to as power fibers)

Once the Bamboo was acquired it was dried and heat treated. In building traditional Bamboo rods the Bamboo commonly referred to as clums were then split into pieces for subsequent planing and forming.

Once formed the pieces were glued with resin and then bound by wrapping and cured to make the rod blank.

Among discussions between the early rod makers it was suggested that if the pieces of Bamboo were themselves able to be impregnated with resin that it may make for a good rod.

This is where I decided to try modern engineered Bamboo materials. Looking at You Tube videos of the manufacturing process of Bamboo flooring sparked my interest in trying totally resin impregnated Bamboo. Knowing that the species used are not the high quality Bamboo often referred to as Tonkin cane did not deter my experiments. Since the Bamboo fibers are resin infused under heat and pressure the resulting material is strong and stable. (note: there are many types of Bamboo flooring, I am talking about the "strand " type flooring material and process)

My idea and subsequent work has been to make the engineered Bamboo material even stronger by adding carbon fibers. Adding 10-30 thousand carbon fibers in between each thin veneer layer. I prepare and bond the layers together with resin makeing for a really strong Bamboo composite rod blank.

The reason I like this combination and continue to make many experimental rods is that the material is relatively inexpensive, east to acquire and a great possibility for anyone desiring to make Bamboo rods on a shoe string budget.

No special heat ovens, planing forms or special equipment is needed to make the laminated quad rods like the ones I make.

I hope you will enjoy this unique material combination. Below are photos of both strand bamboo and horizontal bamboo flooring aw well as several links to Bamboo and Carbon fiber as well as using the two materials in combination.
Why I combine Bamboo & Carbon Fiber
Industry Links

Carbon fiber is quickly becoming the material of choice for automakers as they seek to reduce the weight of their vehicles, but does bamboo have the potential to replace this material in the future? Bamboo is already used by the surfboard industry, which is eager to replace carbon fiber in automotive applications as well: Read more:

Bamboo vs. Carbon
Bamboo and carbon fiber are both composite materials. In fact, a Boo is over 30% unidirectional carbon fiber. They are surprisingly similar materials, considering one is natural and grows from the ground while the other is synthesized in a factory.
Read more from :

What's stopping the bamboo bike from shooting into the mainstream?
Read More from the Guardian:

Bamboo strength
Guadua Bamboo

Carbon fiber versus Bamboo

 Why Bamboo
Excerpt from Chapter 4: Constructing Cane Rods
By Ray Gould
Published by Frank Amato Publications 

Published by:
(Thanks for use permission!)
Mechanical properties of bamboo

The wood database



Please note, The information provided on this page is only a basic representation of the subject. My plan for this blog is to expand on each topic by presenting new rods being built, trial and error experiments with bamboo, composite materials, tools and techniques.

1 comment:

  1. excellent page and information greetings from Peru