Bamboo Laminates - Manufacturing process

   
 
Cutting Matured bamboo culms with a diameter of over 90 mm should be harvested following the prescribed silvicultural practices
Cross cutting The culms are cut into required lengths using cross cutting machine up to the length of the bamboo where the outer diameter is 90 mm.  Bamboo with a diameter less than 90 mm poses problem in the splitting operation.
Splitting and sizing -  Bamboo culms cut into required lengths are split into strips of 19-20 mm in splitting and shaping machines.
Four-side planning Bamboo strips are shaped in a 4 side planning machine to the correct dimensions.  This helps in producing laminates without much gap between strips.
Boiling Boiling strips is a key procedure in the manufacture of laminates.  Boiling removes starch and thereby improve the resistance to borer attack.  Preservative and bleaching chemicals can also be added in desired quantities during the boiling process to further improve durability and appearance. Boiling is done in vats for about 2 hours.
Carbonization (Steaming) For carbonization, an optional step or darkening the color of strips to brownish, strips are steamed in a pressure vessel for about 2 hours. Steaming also removes starch from the strips and  in addition to imparting a brownish color to the strips.
Drying Bamboo strips which are boiled/steamed are dried in a kiln to a moisture content of 8-10 per cent.  Drying is done at a temperature of 70 800C.
Sorting and Gluing Dried strips are sorted to reduce the colour differences among the strips so that finished laminate has even colour. Urea formaldehyde resin is applied to the strips using adhesive applicator.
Hot pressing Hot pressing is done in a special press at 1050C and with a specific pressure of 10 kg/cm2 vertical pressure and 2.5 kg side pressure for horizontal laminates; and 10 kg/cm2 side pressure and 2.5 kg vertical pressure for vertical laminates. Pressing time depends upon the thickness of the laminates to be manufactured.
Board and floor shaping These are done using four side grinding machine and double end cutting and shaping machine.
Sanding Boards are sanded in a sanding machine to smoothen the surface for further finishing the surface.

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