Bamboo Composite Boards & Laminates

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Bamboo is one of the fastest renewable plant with a maturity cycle of 3-4 years, thus making it a highly attractive natural resource compared to forest hardwoods. Bamboo offers good potential for processing it into composites as a wood substitute. Bamboo laminates could replace timber in many applications such as furniture, doors & windows and their frames, partitions, wardrobes, cabinets, flooring etc.

Bamboo laminates are made from slivers milled out from the bamboo culm. After primary processing comprising cross cutting, splitting and 2-side planing, the slivers are treated for starch removal and prevention of termite/borer attack. The slivers are then subjected to hot air drying followed by 4-side planing for attaining uniform thickness. These slivers are coated with glue on the surface and are arranged systematically. They are subjected to a curing in a hot press (6'X4' 2-day light) at temp. ~ 70°C using steam & pressure ~ 17 Kg/cm2. The pressed laminate (panels/tiles) is then put through trimming, sanding & grooving machines to give a pre-finish shape. The flow chart & intermediate quality control parameters for manufacturing bamboo composites are mentioned below.

The project on production of bamboo composites & laminates is based on the following premises

  • Value-added products from Bamboo
  • Cost-effective compared to good solid wood sections for furniture
  • Diversification from traditional plywood to bamboo based products
  • Complete range of bamboo composite laminates for furniture, flooring tiles, boards, door & window frames to replace the use of timber for domestic as well as international market

Expected Benefits

  • Bamboo composite based flooring tiles, boards (used for partitions, cupboards, racks, door & window panels) and blocks (used for furniture, rails & styles for doors & windows etc.) as wood substitute would help develop & promote high value-added products from bamboo.
  • Bamboo composite laminates with a low-temperature curing resin system for reduced energy requirement
  • Promotion of eco-friendly use of bamboo while building a sustainable infrastructure for plant multiplication, propagation and cultivation.
  • Boosting the usage of bamboo based products in India towards generating good employment & income opportunities at rural level

Towards an effective bamboo utilization and exploring the value-addition potential, the project on development of bamboo composite laminates was launched by the Advanced Composites Programme of TIFAC in partnership with M/s. Emmbee Forest Products Pvt. Ltd., Manabari with technology support from the Department of Polymer Science & Technology, University of Calcutta. The project aims at developing value-added products from bamboo with an innovative resin system for reduced processing energy requirement. Bamboo based products such as flooring tiles, laminate boards, blocks (for door & window frames, rails & styles, furniture etc.) as wood substitute are being developed under the project.

In view of the prevention of formaldehyde emission as per international norms, a low-temperature curing water based resin system (melamine fortified urea formaldehyde) has been identified for the project. For preventing bamboo composites from any deterioration by moisture absorption and imparting long-term storage life, a water based acrylic pre-coat has been developed. This pre-coat would prevent any fungal attack during transit for the reconstituted wood sections for furniture. Further, a UV cured melamine acrylate system as the finishing coat has also been developed for flooring tiles made of bamboo composites. A water based PU resin system would also be tried for final finish of the flooring tiles.

Various stages of bamboo processing starting from cross-cutting, parallel splitting, knot removal, two-side planning, anti-fungal treatment, drying, four-side planning, glue application and hot pressing have been made operational. Splitting machine, 2'-wide belt sander, two-side planing and four-side planing machines have been imported from Taiwan. Products such as flooring tiles, furniture sections, reconstituted wood, air locked sections, mat boards etc. have been developed under the project. The finished products such as flush doors fabricated with face bamboo veneer boards with an inner honeycomb core made of waste bamboo rings would enjoy good market acceptance.

Bamboo Composite Laminates

Bamboo Composites Manufacturing Flow Chart & Intermediate QC Parameters

QC1 : Select species
QC2 : Management of thickness, sizing & sorting
QC3 : Check for starch in treated Bamboo
QC4 : Checking of moisture content
QC5 : Uniform spreading of resin
QC6 : Checking temperature & pressure in Hot Press
QC7 : Visual check for dimensional tolerance & appearance
QC8 : Check quality of sanding Dimensions & Tolerances
QC9 : Check stamping & marking

Primary Processing
(Cross cutting, splitting, 2-side planing)



Project Budget

S.No. Item Total Cost
(Rs. in lakhs)
A. Factory Shed (12000 sq. ft) @ Rs.200/- per sq. ft 2
B. Electrification (75 KW) 300
C. Gen Set (2 nos. X 75 KVA) 4000
D. Plant & Machinery (Cross Cutter (2 Nos), Splitting Machine, Knot Removing Machine, 2-side Planing Machine, 8'X4' Treatment Tanks (3 Nos. FRP Lined, 2 Nos. MS Tanks), Drying Chamber with dehumidifier, 4-side Planing Machine, Resin Applicator, 2 -Day Light Press (6'X4' platen), Package Boiler (non IBR), 5-Spindle Moulder, Grinding Machine, Spray Guns, Compressor, Trolley, Dust Collector, Wide Belt Sander, Tongue & Groove Cutter) 74.30*
E. Contingency 5.70
  Total Rs. 117 Lakhs

* For Furniture Sections, Wide Belt Sander, Tongue & Groove Cuter worth Rs.16.00 Lakhs are not required

Production Capacity

S.No. Item Quantity Selling Price
A. 2000 pieces Sticks (40mm X 20mm X 1.0 m)/Day = 2000 X 0.04 X 0.02 m3 1.6 m3/Day 2
B. Selling Price @ Rs.50,000/- per m3   80,000

Cost of Production of Bamboo Boards per Day

Item Quantity Total Cost
Bamboo Cost
a) No. of Bamboos required (considering 5% wastage)
b) Cost of Bamboo @ Rs.30 per pole, each measuring at least 4 m long
950 nos. ~ 29,000
Resin Cost
a) Resin Required (Considering 2.5 m2/Kg of resin)
b) Resin Price (MUF) @ Rs.30/Kg
320 Kgs. ~ 10,000
Power Consumption @ Rs.5.00/unit 75 KW ~ 6,000
Salary & Wages @ Rs.4,500/m3 for 2 shifts 2 shifts or 16 hrs per day 9000/day
Other Consumables - ~ 2,000
Other Overheads (mktg., R&D, Selling Commn., Admn.) @ 10% of (A to E above) - 5,600
Interest on Working Capital + Capital Equipment - 2,500
TOTAL   Rs.64,100/-
Profit - ~25%

For further information please contact

Technology Information,
Forecasting & Assessment Council,
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road,
New Delhi-110 016, India.