Friday, 22 November 2013

Versatile Bamboo!



HotScience │Petrosains


We’ve seen people rafting along a river on bamboo rafts, bamboo scaffolding at construction sites and of course the housing for Malaysia’s all-time favourite, lemang!  Now try to imagine clothes, bags, towels and soap made from bamboo.  Maybe computer casing too!  
One of the fascinating uses of bamboo is as scaffold in the construction industry.  China has been using it for the past 5000 years and today it’s still widely used in many Asian countries, not only for low rise buildings but the tallest skyscrapers imaginable!  So what’s special about bamboo?  Well basically it’s light, strong, portable, cheap and renewable! 


In 2012, researchers from the University’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials embarked in a collaboration with Coventry University and the University of Cambridge to explore the use of bamboo for the widespread construction of homes.  Studies are on-going.
Another interesting application is clothing.  We have cotton and woolen clothing, why not bamboo?  Bamboo fabric is impressive for the following reasons:
Softer than cotton - its texture is similar to a blend of cashmere and silk.
Better moisture absorption and ventilation.  
Natural antibacterial elements.
Ability to absorb and evaporate human sweat in a split of a second.  This makes it extremely cool and comfortable, even in hot weather. 
100% bamboo yarns show a great elasticity i.e. nearly 20%.

What’s available in the market now?  There’s sweaters, bath-suits, underwear, t-shirts, socks, sanitary napkins, masks, mattress, bags, bathroom products and decorating items.  All this from the humble bamboo.  Bamboo is indeed versatile!

Some Bamboo Malaysia merchandise are also available at our gift shop 'Xplorasi'.



This article is written in conjunction with an Engagement Session at HotScience, Petrosains from 20-21 September 2013 with Bamboo Malaysia.




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