I learnt about this near solid, iron-bamboo (Dendrocalamus Stocksii) from an article published by Institute of Wood Science and Technology. The interesting feature was its loose-clumping growth habit, along with a near absence of inter-nodal cavity, thereby making it a suitable candidate for consideration of use to replace wood in certain applications in the handicraft industry. Also alluded to, as an iron-bamboo due to its iron like strength, this species is practically non-existent in N. India. Scientists at FRI and various agricultural institutes need to study the viability of introducing Dendrocalamus Stocksii in the TARAI, which is pretty humid and moist, much like the costal area, where this bamboo is naturally found.
Dendrocalamus stocksii (Munro), synonym Oxytenanthera stocksii / Pseudoxytenanthera stocksiiaabsence (Munro), synonym Oxytenanthera stocksii / Pseudoxytenanthera stocksii
As per the alluded article, Dendrocalamus stocksii is naturally distributed in Central Western Ghats. Locally called – Chivari’, Mes, Konda, Oor-shema, Marihal, Manga etc. D. stocksii has medium sized, stout solid and strong culms. Though the natural distribution of this species is in humid tropics, this species has a wide adaptability and comes up well in tropical humid, sub humid and semi-arid conditions.
Culms are said to be about 8 to 9m, basal dia 25-58mm and internode of 15-30cm, light green in colour, loosely spaced and without thorns. They are solid at the base upto about half the culm height.
Anatomical and Mechanical Properties of Dendrocalamus stocksii
Specific gravity- 0.691
Fibre Diameter (μm)- 16.6
Fibre Lumen Diameter (μm)- 5.7
Fibre length (mm)-3.4
Fibre Wall Thickness (μm)- 10.9
Modulus of Rupture (MOR) (kg/cm2)- 620
Maximum crushing stress (kg/cm2)- 386
Vascular bundles per cm2- 281
(Source: Rao et al., 2004)
The compressive strength of bamboo is roughly situated between 40 and 80 N/mm2 which is twice to four times the value of most timber species. Bamboo with low moisture content has a higher compressive strength than one with higher moisture.
The shear strength of bamboo is often twice the value of popular timber species.
The bending strength of most bamboo species varies between 50 and 150 N/mm2 and is on average twice as strong as most conventional structural timbers