The common name for any tall woody grass that grow abundantly in tropical and subtropical areas. Bamboos, with over 480 species, belong to the family Gramineae and the most widely known bamboos come from the Bambusa genera. The woody, jointed stems, called culms, grow to 50 m (164 feet) in height. Bamboo has been used locally for constructing houses, rafts, poles, bridges, and scaffolding. In Europe and America, bamboo stems were popular for chairs, tables, cabinets, and other interior furniture during the 19th century. They are also split, flattened and woven into smaller items such as baskets, mats, hats, and fish traps. Bamboo has also become an important source of long, cellulose fibers for specialty papers. Additionally, a wax is extracted from the bamboo leaves that has properties similar to candelilla wax.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Bambusa; Bambus (Dan., Deut., Nor., Pol.); bambú (Esp., It.); bambou (Fr.); bamboe (Ned.); bambu (Port.)
Bamboo wax: melting point=78-80, density=0.961, iodine value=7.8, acid value=14.5, saponification value=43.4
Paper fiber type: Non-woody/grass. Using transmitted light microscopy, fibers appear long, narrow and thick-walled. Pitted vessels (some very wide), barrel-shaped and rectangular parenchyma cells are also present. Unlike other grasses, bamboo does not have serrated epidermal cells. Appearance with Graff "C" stain: reddish blue. Average dimensions of fibers: length 2.7mm; width 14μm. Common pulping method: kraft.
Hazards and Safety
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