Mechanical properties of structural bamboo for bamboo scaffoldings

Kwok Fai Chung, W. K. Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

271 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an investigation on the mechanical properties of two bamboo species, namely Bambusa Pervariabilis (or Kao Jue) and Phyllostachys Pubescens (or Mao Jue), which are commonly used in access scaffoldings in the South East Asia, in particular, in Hong Kong and the Southern China. A pilot study was carried out to examine the variation of compressive strength against various physical properties along the length of bamboo culms for both bamboo species. Moreover, systematic test series with a large number of compression and bending tests were executed to establish characteristic values of both the strengths and the Young's moduli of each bamboo species for limit state structural design. It is shown that both Kao Jue and Mao Jue are good constructional materials with excellent mechanical properties against compression and bending. With a suitable choice of partial safety factors, structural engineers are able to design bamboo structures at a known level of confidence against failure. Structural engineers are thus encouraged to take the advantage offered by bamboo to build light and strong structures to achieve enhanced economy and buildability. The effective use of structural bamboo as a substitute to structural timber will mitigate the pressures on the ever-shrinking natural forests in developing countries, and thus, facilitate the conservation of the global environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-442
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002


  • Bamboo scaffoldings
  • Bamboo strength
  • Green construction
  • Qualification tests
  • Structural bamboo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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