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Assessing the Performance of Bamboo Structural Components

Richard, Michael J. (2013) Assessing the Performance of Bamboo Structural Components. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Bamboo has been a traditional construction material in many regions for centuries. The rapid growth and maturation rate of bamboo as well as its good strength properties and global accessibility make it a promising non-conventional building material resource. However, due to limited standardization and design criteria, bamboo has often been relegated to non-engineered and marginally-engineered construction. The current study assesses the performance of full-culm structural bamboo components and appropriate standard material and member test methods. A brief overview is given to the motivation for the study of structural bamboo, placing the work in its social context, followed by background on the properties of bamboo and the structural applications of the material as well as the pathway to its further standardization and utilization. Experimental and analytical studies are conducted focusing on the tensile, flexural, buckling, and environmental sustainability performance of full-culm bamboo components. Standard bamboo tension tests are carried out to investigate the test interferences associated with the functionally graded fiber distribution across the culm wall thickness. Tension specimens oriented in both the radial and tangential directions are considered in order to isolate the effects of the fiber gradation both on test results and experimental methodology. Recognizing longitudinal splitting induced by flexure as a dominant limit state, modified standard bamboo flexural tests are performed to investigate the development of a standard test procedure for this limit state, which involves a mixed-mode longitudinal splitting failure in the flexural element. Flexural testing considers two test configurations and three difference species of bamboo. Results of modified full-culm tests are compared with smaller clear bamboo flexural specimens taken from the culm wall as well as standard or proposed tests for pure mode I and pure mode II failure components. The experimental buckling capacity of single-culm and multiple-culm bamboo columns is studied as further understanding of column strength is critical to the construction of more robust and potentially multiple-story bamboo structures. Finally, in an effort to quantify the perceived sustainability benefits of bamboo, the environmental impacts of multiple-culm bamboo columns are compared with structurally comparable timber and steel alternatives in a comparative midpoint life cycle analysis.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Richard, Michael J.mjr86@pitt.eduMJR86
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHarries, Kent A.kharries@pitt.eduKHARRIES
Committee MemberBilec, Melissa M.mbilec@engr.pitt.eduMBILEC
Committee MemberBrigham, Johnbrigham@pitt.eduBRIGHAM
Committee MemberGhavami,
Committee MemberArmstrong, C. Drewcda68@pitt.eduCDA68
Date: 25 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 June 2013
Approval Date: 25 September 2013
Submission Date: 17 July 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 288
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bamboo, structural design, standardization, material testing
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 14:11
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14


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